National Parks
(NPs) and Wildlife Sanctuaries
(WLSs)

NPs and WLSs are protected areas with the primary objective to preserve wildlife, save flora & fauna and restore the natural ecological balance.

The Definition​

NPs are areas for conserving wildlife and biodiversity because of natural, cultural and historical importance. NPs inhabit millions of animals, insects, microorganisms, plants of different genes and species. This way, floras and faunas get a healthy and safe environment to flourish in. NPs offer amusement of environmental and scenic heritage in a regulated manner and prohibit any kind of plantation, grazing, predating, and destruction.

WLSs are places exclusively for use of wildlife in their natural habitat in safe and healthy living conditions. Most importantly, WLSs also keep endangered and rare animals so they can lead a peaceful life while maintaining their viable population. Hence, in order to manage the sanctuary properly, WLSs appoint rangers and guards to patrol the area. Further, it assists in the security of animals and prevents poaching, predating, or harassing.

The Differences​

Basis of Comparison

NP

WLS

Meaning

It is a protected area conserving the wildlife and ecosystem and also developing them

It is a natural habitat safeguarding specific species of animals and birds

Objective

To safeguard the natural and historic objects of the wildlife of the region

To maintain the viable population of the wildlife

Boundary

Have boundaries fixed by legislation

Does not have fixed boundaries

Preservation

Flora, fauna, landscape, historic objects and more

Animals, birds, reptiles, insects and more

Restrictions

They are highly restricted and allow access to some people only

They have lesser restrictions and are open to the public

Upgrade

Cannot downgrade to a sanctuary

Can upgrade to a national park

Human Activity

Not allowed in any case

Allowed only to a certain extent

Formation

Central or State Legislature

Central or State Government

Maps
state-wise​ statistics
wildlife-map-of-india

Some
Interesting

Facts

about India's wildlife, nature reserves and biodiversity.

India is
  • Only country in the world with native populations of both tigers and lions.
  • Just 2% of world’s land mass, but home to 8% of world’s biodiversity.
  • Home to 33% of the world’s endemic species, which means they are NOT found elsewhere in the world. 
  • Accounted for about 3% of world’s entire mangrove vegetation.
  • One of 17 megadiverse countries in the world. India has 4 out of 35 biodiversity hotspots in the world.
  • Home to 12% of world’s bird species.
  • (In terms of endemism position in world),
  1. 10th in birds with 69 species,
  2. 5th in reptiles with 156 species,
  3. 7th in amphibians with 110 species.
  • 10th among plant rich countries of the world.
  • Home to nearly half of the world’s aquatic plants.
  • Home to unique camel breed The Kharai, that can swim (found in Kutch, Gujarat).

Some
Popular

Wildlife Attractions

tiger reserves, bird sanctuaries and other biodiversity.