National Parks of India
India's rich biodiversity has fascinated people down the ages. We can boast of more than 500 species of mammals, 2,000 species of birds, 500 species of reptiles, and 30,000 species of insects. We also have an ingrained tradition of conservation stretching
back in history.
However, the pressures of an increasing population have led to widespread changes in land ways. This has, in effect, led to a gradual encroachment and decimation of forest cover and water bodies, resulting in the destruction of the natural habitat which has
sustained wildlife down the centuries.
While shooting for sport'Shikar', posed the greatest threat to wildlife in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it is the destruction of habitat and illegal poaching for commerce that present the major problems to conservation today.
Realizing the danger, sanctuaries for protecting the wildlife, along witheir natural habitat, were set up in India from the first half of the 20th century itself and today there are more than 450 Wildlife Sanctuaries and 85 National Parks, around the country.
A comprehensive legislation called the "Wildlife Protection Act' was enacted in 1972 for providing legal protection to wildlife, and to endangered species of fauna in particular, as protecting our natural heritage and preventing the extinction of increasingly
rare and endangered species of animals like the one-horned Indian Rhinoceros, the Indian elephant, the tiger, and the musk deer among other, assumed national importance.
Under this Act, the State Governments are empowered to declare any area as a Sanctuary or a National Park for the purpose of protecting and conserving wildlife and the environment. All National Parks and Sanctuaries are, however not alike. While some have
been created to protect certain specific rare and endangered species, some are famous for the richness and variety of their flora as well as fauna.
Kaziranga National Park
Kaziranga National Park is one of the last refuges of the endangered one horned Indian Rinocerus. Located in Assam on the southern bank of the Brahmputra River, Kaziranga was declared a reserve forest in 1908, primarily to protect this indigenous endangered
species and a ban imposed on poaching of the Indian Rhino. Declared as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1940 the Park was given the status of a National Park in 1974, and has also been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985.in bringing out a set of five commemorative
postage stamps on National Parks of India, India Post celebrates the unique beauty of each. Whie applauding the conservation efforts so far made, there is obviously a need to carry this movement forward with greater resolve. This set of stamps will create
greater awareness of the heritage we need to preserve.
India Post is proud to showcase the natural heritage o India by bringing out a set of five stamps featuring famous National parks around the country. ( Courtesy: BROCHURE released by Department of Posts India )