(Last Updated on : 08/10/2010)
Haryana is one of the most notable western Indian states, in terms of rich biodiversity. The state is home to quite a rich variety of vegetation and flora and fauna species and several eco parks in the state are working for preserving this rich natural variety. The Haryana eco parks are situated in different places of the state and they are providing habitat to numerous endangered, critically endangered and threatened species. These eco parks are being maintained by both private and government organisations, and are contributing in promoting eco-tourism in Haryana.
Among the Haryana eco parks, the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary is undoubtedly the most notable one. The sanctuary was established in the year 1971, mainly due to the efforts made by the world famous Ornithologist, Dr. Salim Ali and hence, it is also popularly known as the Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary. This sanctuary is providing home to most of the bird species found in the state of Haryana. So far, a total of 450 bird species have been found in the Haryana eco parks and a number of them are considered as endangered, critically endangered, threatened or endemic.
Some of the most important bird species found in these parks include Common Hoopoe, Paddy Field Pipit, Purple Sunbird, Little Cormorant, Eurasian Thick-knee, Gray Francolin, Black Francolin, Indian Roller, White-throated Kingfisher, Spot billed Duck, Painted Stork, White Ibis, Black headed Ibis, Little Egret, Great Egret, Cattle Egret, India Crested Lark, Red vented Bulbul, Rose ringed Parakeet, Red Wattled Lapwing, etc. Apart from these resident birds, several migratory birds also visit the Haryana eco parks, every year. The most notable migratory bird species include the Siberian Cranes, Greater Flamingo, Ruff, Black winged Stilt, Common Teal, Common Greenshank, Northern Pintail, Yellow Wagtail, White Wagtail, Northern Shoveler, Rosy Pelican, Gadwall, Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Sandpiper, Eurasian Wigeon, etc.
The Haryana eco parks also provide habitat to many plant species like the Acacia Nilotica, Acacia Tortilis, Beris, Neem, Babul Savannah Grasses, Jamun, Banyans, etc. They are home to a number of important and valuable reptile species. The most important among them are the Crocodiles, Turtles, Snakes, Tortoise, etc. The parks are famous for being home to innumerous mammal fauna species, as well. The most notable ones among these species include the Striped Hyena, Leopard, Nilgai, Sambar, Blackbuck, Hog Deer, Four Horned Antelope, Caracal, Wild Dog, Rattle/Honey Badger, Mongoose, Hedgehog, Wild Pig, Wild Cat, Indian Porcupine, etc.
The Haryana eco parks are being run and managed by several private organisations and the State Government of Haryana and the Government of India, are also providing necessary assistance to the eco parks. The Haryana Tourism Department has recently taken some initiatives to improve the condition of the Haryana eco parks, with a view to attract more tourists from all over the world. The initiatives include developing wooden cottages for providing accommodation to the tourists, building bird-watch towers, improving the communication scenario of the eco parks, etc.