MAJOR NATIONAL PARKS AND WILDLIFE SANCTUARIES
DACHIGAM NATIONAL PARK
Dachigam National Park is located 22 km (kilometer) from Srinagar in Jammu and Kashmir. It covers an area of 141 sq km (square kilometer). The name literally stands for ‘ten villages’, which could be in memory of the ten villages that were relocated in order to create the park. Dachigam was initially established to ensure the supply of clean drinking water to Srinagar city. A protected area since 1910, it was declared as a national park in 1981. • The park is best known as the home of the hangul, or Kashmir stag.
KISHTWAR NATIONAL PARK
• Kishtwar National Park is a beautiful place, located in the Kishtwar district of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was majorly founded to protect the Snow Leopards that are now slowly vanishing from the nature.
• The tract is situated on the high altitudes i.e., sub-alpine and alpine zone.
• There are numerous small streams which drain into Renai, Kiyar, Nanth and Kibber Nallas and all these independently drain into river Marwah that joins river Chanderbhaga at Bhandarkoot and forms the river Chenab.
• he best known glacier in the area is Brahma Glacier which is about 18 Kms long besides the Metwan Glacier.
• The national park supports a variety of temperature conifer forests.
• These include Fir, Himalayan Yew, Deodar, Blue Pine, or Kail and Spruce. In the alpine regions of the national park, extensive alpine scrub and meadows, open rocks ad glaciers are present.
• The lower catchment areas of all the four nallas namely, Kiber, Nanth, Kiar and Renai support mixed forests.
KAZINAG NATIONAL PARK
• Kazinag National Park is situated in north bank of Jhelum close to Line of Control in Baramulla district about 70 km away from the capital city of Srinagar.
• Vegetation in Kajinag is dominated by coniferous forests with deodar (Cedrus deodara) at lower altitudes, fir (Abies pindrow) & spruce (Picea smithiana) at middle to upper elevations and kail (Pinus Wallichiana) is widely distributed from lower to upper elevations. Birch (Betula utilis) occur mainly in the subalpine zone whereas the other broad leaved forests include Prunus-Acer which occur in middle elevations and the Horse chestnut ( Aesculus indica) strands are distributed in lower elevations mainly along streams. The temperate scrub occurs at middle and lower elevations and is dominated by Indigo fera, Spirea and Rosa. The sub-alpine and alpine scrub occurs at higher elevations and is dominated by Juniperus, Lonicera and salix. Alpine meadows occupying the highest elevations. Other shrub species include Rosa macrofolia and Viburnum grandi florum that are dominant along nallas in lower elevations
• Around 20 species of mammals, including some rare, threatened, endangered are found in within the limits of kazinag National park. Key animal species sighted are Markhor (capra falconeri), Himaliyan Musk Deer (Moschus Crysogater), Himaliyan Brown Bear (Ursus artos), Himalayan black bear (Ursus thibetanus) and common leopard (Panthera pardus), Yellow Throated Martin (Martes flavigula), Himaliyan Marmot (Marmota caudate), Small Kashmir Flying Squirrel (Eoglaucomys fimbriatus) etc.
• The uniqueness of Kazinag National Park is that it is home to about 17 different species of butterflies that are unique and endangered.
SALIM ALI NATIONAL PARK
• Salim Ali National Park is located in Srinagar.
• it was named in the honour of Salim Ali who was an eminent ornithologist. The Salim Ali National Park was named so officially in the year 1986.
• Mangrove shrubberies comprise of the main flora in the Salim Ali National Park,
• Mammals – Kashmiri stag, Chakkar, Snow Cock, Serow, Hangul, Musk deer, Himalayan black bear, Leopard, Jackal, Flying Fox etc.
Birds – Monal, Paradise flycatcher, Himalayan snow cock, Coot, Pintail, Kingfisher, Ring Dove, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Bengal Florican, Greater Spotted Eagle, White-tailed Fishing Eagle, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Baya Weaver, the Lesser Kestrel, Swamp Francolin, Slender-billed Vulture, Slender-billed Vulture, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Greater Spotted Eagle,