Spread over 50,362 sq km, Punjab is among the smallest Indian states. Here most of the land is covered by agricultural fields, that is, approximately 84%. But now, Punjab has lost it’s forests and diversity of plants and animals because of its partition to form different states out of it & also non-forest intentions like agriculture & other growth processes. The population left after this partition that has some value of conservation, mostly exists in Punjab’s Shivalik areas and its plains. These areas provide a shelter to uncommon and vulnerable species such as Pangolin, Python, Indus river dolphin and Otter. The main animals residing here are Indian Lion, Sloth Bear, Baboon, Lion tailed macaque, Royal Bengal Tiger, Zebra, Crocodile, Gaur, Hippopotamus, Elephant, Gharial, Himalayan Black Bear, different deer species’ like Swamp Deer, Spotted Deer, Chinkara, Barking Deer, Black Buck, Hog Deer, Sambar, Wild Boar, Blue Bull, Fishing Cat, Pangolin, Python, Hog Deer, Red Jungle Fowl, Kaleej Pheasant, Smooth Indian Otter, Barking Deer, Indus River Dolphin , seven turtle species’, 350 and more species of migratory as well as native birds. The main birds existing here are Silver Pheasant, Golden Pheasant, Emu, Mangolian Pheasant, Kaleej Pheasant, Painted Stork, Red Jungle Fowl, Sarus Crane and more.
Black Buck is declared Punjab’s State Animal according to the notice issued by the Government. Most of the Black Buck’s are found in Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary , which is considered Punjab’s pride and are around 3500 that are free to roam in the sanctuary.
Hari Ke Pattan National Wetland And Wildlife Sanctuary, Amritsar
Hari-Ke-Pattan is among the important Indian lakes. In winters, starting from November, around 350 migratory birds fly here in search of their home and this lake proves to be a heaven for them. A variety of beautiful and foreign birds fly here from distant places, such as Siberia. It is India’s major landlocked fish market of fresh water and a shelter for a variety of wild animals. Ferozepur, Amritsar, Harike and Kapurthala are the places near this wetland and sanctuary.
Satluj Water Body Wetland, Ropar
Each year 250 and above migratory birds’ species fly over here. Its clear water is stretched over 30 km of area which is a favorite destination for kayaking, boating, angling, long distance swimming and canoeing.
Kanjli Wetland, Kapurthala
The Bein streamlet, bordered by scenic beauty of nature, is situated 5 km of Kapurthala. The Kapurthala King first diverted the flow of river Kali Bein by constructing a barrage and then made a lake. It is made up of many streamlets and still exists there. There is a forest full of greenery on its left and wildlife can also be seen. Villa Buona Vista, designed by French architects, is also situated on lake’s bank. The King’s descendant is colonized here today. Apart from being a home for migratory birds, coming here in winter season, it is also a famous picnic point. The lake also allows boating in its waters. This wetland is spread over 50 acres of area and provides shelter to around 40 to 50 species of birds and as it had a valuable biodiversity, it was granted a national level importance in 1992. The districts near this wetland are Kapurthala and Kanjli.
Zoological Park Chhatbir
Zoological Park is situated 20 km of Chandigarh and 55 km of Patiala, in Chhatbir. 202 acres of the area of park is an uncultivated land covered with scrub vegetation over Ghaggar River. 52 animals species’ are found here which includes the Himalayan Black Bear and the Bengal Royal Tiger, as well as it is a house for 62 birds species’, in an artificial natural home ground. This park is considered to be the largest zoological park in India and is famous for the Safari of Lion. Other amusing places worth visiting are Deer Park, Neelon on the way Ludhiana to Chandigarh and the Safari of Tiger, close to Ludhiana, also gives a great feeling to visitors.
Prominent Flora And Fauna
Various mammals such as Flying Fox, Smooth Indian Otter, Wildcat, Hog Deer, Squirrel, Common Mongoose, Wild Boar and Fruit bat are found here.
Especially in winters, one can see all types of foreign and migratory birds. Great Crested Grebe, Adjutant Stork, Pintail, White Necked Stork, Eastern Purple Heron, Glossy Ibis, Mallard, Spotbill Duck, Gadwall, Brahminy, Tailor Bird, Ruddy Sheduck, Wigeon, Peafowl and Coot, mostly fly here.
Reptiles And Amphibians
7 turtle species’ and also species of Tortoise, Snakes, Toads and Frogs, which are four in number, exist here.
These waters are home to 16 types of fishes. Puntius, Channa, Abeo, Cirrhina, Cyperinus, Notopterus, Catla, Ambasis ranga and Mystus are the main species.
A variety of flora, which includes aquatic as well as terrestrial plants are also found here, and the important ones are Hydrilla, Typha, Phragmites, Ficus, Prosopis, Azolla, Dalbergia, Ipomoea aquatic, Zizyphus Mauritiana, Albizzia, Syzgium cumini, Grasses, Nelumbo and Cyprus.
Some uncommon birds and animals such as Yellow-eyed Pigeon, Testudine turtle, Indian Skimmer, Falcated Teal, Rufous-vented Prinia , Scaup Duck, etc. can be seen here.
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