Rajasthan is a haven for a wide spectrum of wildlife. The topography of Rajasthan ranges from the barren desert, scrub-thorn arid forests, rocks and ravines to wetlands and lush, green forests. And each of these areas houses a large variety of animal and bird life. Some of them rare while some endangered. Rajasthan is the home of the tigers, black bucks, chinkara, the rare desert fox, the endangered caracal, the great Indian bustard, gavial, monitor lizard, wild boars, porcupine. Migratory birds like the common crane, ducks, coots, pelicans and the rare Siberian cranes, imperial sand grouse, falcons, buzzards flocks to this state during the winter months. Typical areas representing each of the ecosystems have been remarked as special areas wildlife. Rajasthan boasts of two National Parks, over a dozen Sanctuaries and two Closed Areas. Most of these areas are open to visitors round the year but are closed briefly during the monsoon.

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Bhensrod Garh Sanctuary
A fairly new sanctuary, it was established in 1983 and covers a total area of 229 sq km of scrub and dry deciduous forest. Leopards, chinkara, sloth bear can be spotted here if one is lucky. The best time to visit is between October and May.

Darrah Sanctuary
Previously the hunting ground of the Kota maharajas, this sanctuary was established in 1955 and covers an area of 266 sq km. This hilly sanctuary with its thick forests is worth a visit. The animals here include wolf,sloth bear, chinkara and leopard. The best time to visit is between February and May.

Desert National Sanctuary
This sanctuary was established in 1980, it is a huge park sprawling on 3162 sq km. It has shrubs and trees in addition to rolling sand dunes. The wildlife wealth here comprises fox, desert cat, hare, spinney tail uromastix and sand fish. Thousands of sparrows, imperial sand grouse, bustards, falcons and eagles migrate here during the winter. Best time to visit is September to March.

Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary
The lake and forested hills of this reserve, 32 km from Bikaner on the Jaisalmer road, are inhabited by wildfowl, hares , wild boar, desert foxes and a number of deer and antelopes including black ducks and blue bulls. The lake at Gajner attracts water birds in thousands. Imperial sand house migrate here in winter. Gajner Wildlife Sanctuary, houses the former Hunting lodge of Bikaner and has a beautiful lake surrounded by a dense forest.

Jaisamand Sanctuary
This sanctiary was established in 1957. This sanctuary is located beside the man-made lake of the same name. Covering a total area of 160 sq km, it harbours sloth bear, leopard, chital, chinkara, wild boar and a number of birds. Some crocodiles and fish can also be spotted here. Best time to visit is between November and January.

Keoladeo Ghana National Park Bharatpur
Keoladeo Ghana National Park was declared a National Park in 1983. This 29 sq km park is one of the world’s greatest heronries. Its shallow, fresh water marsh attracts thousands of migratory birds. Over 10,000 nests of egrets, darters, cormorants, grey herons and storks hatch nearly 20,000 to 30,000 chicks every year. There is an infinite variety of migratory birds. Mammals like the sambhar, black buck, chital, nilgai, fishing cat, otter and mongoose also roam freely here. Best time to visit is August to February.

Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in the Rajsamand district of Rajasthan in Northwestern India, Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the best and most sought after options for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers as well. Covering an area of 578 km2, the wildlife sanctuary surrounds the majestic Kumbhalgarh Fort – a UNESCO World Heritage Site included Hill Forts of Rajasthan. The wall of the fort is the second largest wall in the world after the Great Wall of China; and fondly known as the Great Wall of India. The Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary is home to a variety of wildlife species; some of which are highly endangered species. The wildlife species you can spot here include hyenas, jackals, jungle cats, wolves, leopards, sambhars, nilgai, four-horned antelopes, chikara, etc. Birding at the sanctuary is also popular among tourists as it is home to various species of birds including grey jungle fowls, peacocks, doves, grey pigeons, bulbul, white-breasted kingfisher, etc. Natural beauty of Kumbhalgarh never fails to lure its visitors. The amalgamation of fort, nature and wildlife truly makes this place a worth-visit destination of Rajasthan.

Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
Located in one of the oldest Indian mountain ranges, the Aravalli range, Mount Abut Sanctuary was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in the year of 1980. The sanctuary is known for its rich flora and fauna; and attracts visitors including families, nature lovers and adventure wildlife enthusiasts from all over the world. Mount Abu is the only place in the state of Rajasthan where one can observe a variety of orchids. A part from rich flora you an also experience here a variety of fauna including highly endangered and rare wildlife species. Wildlife species include lions (last recorded in 1872), tigers (last recorded in 1971), leopards (top predators), jungle cats, sambhars, jackals, foxes, common langur, hyenas, wolf, Indian civets, wild boar, bear, pangolin, mongoose, hedgehog, porcupine, Indian hare, rabbits, sloth bear, etc. The sanctuary also has more than 250 species of birds.

Ranthambore National Park
This is the most well-known tiger reserve of the state under Project Tiger. Home of an expansive variety of other animals in is 392 sq km area, one can spot sambhar, cheetal, wild boar, leopard, sloth bear, jackal, hyena among others. Artificial lakes, dense forests and the shield of the Aravalis have helped to make this park very impressive and interesting. Best time to visit is October to April.

Sariska Tiger Reserve
The other tiger land in Rajasthan which was brought under Project Tiger in 1979. Other than leopard, sambhar, nilgai, wild dog, and chinkara, the ruins of 9th and 10th century temples exist here. Best time to visit is November to June.

Other sanctuaries include Sitamata, Darrah, Chambal, Tal Chapper, Jamwa Ramgarh, Kaila Devi, Van Vihar, Ramgarh, Shergarh, Todgarh-Rad and Jawahar Sagar.

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