8 Incredible Wildlife Sanctuaries in India

March 17, 2023

By Mekhala Joshi

Did you know?

A sanctuary is a special place for protecting, repopulating or conserving wildlife and its habitat. Activities like cattle grazing are permitted but regulated to protect animals and their habitat in wildlife sanctuaries.

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Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat

With an area of 4953.70 square kilometres, wild asses can be spotted here throughout the year in big groups. It is one of only six subspecies or geographic varieties of wild asses left in the world. 

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National Chambal Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary,  Madhya Pradesh

Because of hunting and fishing, India lost its Gharial population in the 1970s. In Chambal, Gharials, which were bred in captivity, were reintroduced to the wild.  This place is also home to some endangered animals like mugger (Marsh crocodile), Indian Skimmer, turtle and river dolphins.

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Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary, Karnataka

Only India and Sri Lanka have the Indian Sloth Bear, one of eight bear species. This sanctuary houses about 120 Sloth Bears. This sanctuary is also home to about 90 species of birds, and 27 species of butterflies, among other animals like Star Tortoise, Porcupine and Pangolins. 

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Nalabana Bird Sanctuary, Odisha

Located at the heart of Chilika, Nalabana island was declared a bird sanctuary in 1987. This tiny island supports 60 percent of the migratory birds visiting Chilika lagoon annually. One can look for birds like the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit and White-Bellied Sea Eagle in this sanctuary.

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Mahuadanr Wolf Sanctuary, Jharkhand

To protect the endangered wolf species in their natural habitat, this 63.25-square kilometre wildlife sanctuary was set up. Wolves favour living in bushy ravines in the Sarnadih and Urumbi forests. At night, they hunt pigs, goats, wild animals and ground birds

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Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary, Bihar

Being the only dolphin sanctuary in India, this one is crucial for the conservation of endangered river dolphins. It is worth noting that the Gangetic river dolphin is India’s national aquatic animal. It is also known for its diverse bird population. 

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Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary, Maharashtra

One of the rarest birds on the Indian subcontinent, the Great Indian Bustard can only be found in a few regions of India. It is protected under Schedule-1 of the Wildlife Act 1972. Other animal species that may be spotted here are the blackbuck, wolf, Indian fox and jackal.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons