Maharashtra has 6 national parks, 50 sanctuaries and 27 conservation reserves with 12 reserves being added to the list recently. The newly added reserves are Chivatibavari and Alaldari in Dhule; Kalwan, Muragad, Triambakeshwar and Igatpuri in Nashik; Raigad and Roha in Raigad district; Bhor in Pune; Dare Khurd (Mahadare) in Satara; Masai plateau in Kolhapur and Mogarkasa in Nagpur. The state will also get three new wildlife sanctuaries, namely the extension of the Lonar wildlife sanctuary (0.8694 sq km), Kolamarka in Gadchiroli (180.72 sq km) and Muktai Bhawani in Jalgaon (122.74 sq km). All these comes under the supervision of Maharashtra State Board for Wildlife (MSBWL)
Maharashtra has six tiger projects. It provides legal protection to its tiger population through six dedicated tiger reserves under the precincts of the National Tiger Conservation Authority which comes under the initiative Project Tiger. These reserves cumulatively cover an estimated area of 9,113km2 which is about 3% of the total state area. The total protected areas (PAs) in Maharashtra has an area of around 1,000 sq km. In this, an area of 692.74 sq km is for conservation reserves while an area of 303 sq km is for wildlife sanctuaries.
Wildlife Sanctuaries in Maharashtra
- Amba Barwa Wildlife Sanctuary
- Andheri Wildlife Sanctuary
- Aner Dam Wildlife Sanctuary
- Bharmragarh Wildlife Sanctuary
- Bhigwan Bird Sanctuary
- Bhima Shankar Wildlife Sanctuary
- Bor Wildlife Sanctuary
- Chandoli National Park
- Chaprala Wildlife Sanctuary
- Chikhaldara Wildlife Sanctuary
- Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary
- DhaknaKolkaz wildlife sanctuary
- Dnyanganga Wildlife Sanctuary
- Gautala Wildlife Sanctuary
- Great Indian Bustard Wildlife Sanctuary
- Gugamal National Park
- Jaikwadi Wildlife Sanctuary
- Kalsubai Harishchandragad Wildlife Sanctuary
- Karnala Bird Sanctuary
- Katepurna Wildlife Sanctuary
- Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary
- Lonar Wildlife Sanctuary
- Mayani Bird Sanctuary
- Malvan Marine Wildlife Sanctuary
- Mansingdeo Wildlife Sanctuary
- Mayureshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
- Melghat Tiger Reserve
- Navegaon National Park
- Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary
- Narnala Wildlife Sanctuary
- Phansad Wildlife Sanctuary
- Pench National Park
- Radhanagari Bison Wildlife Sanctuary
- Rehekuri Blackbuck Sanctuary
- Sagareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
- Sanjay Gandhi National Park
- Tadoba Tiger Reserve
- Yawal Wildlife Sanctuary
Tadoba Tiger Reserve
This national park in Maharashtra is the oldest and is considered to be the one of the largest tiger reserves of the state. Perched at a height of 200m located in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra, it is divided into two major zones, namely the Tadoba National park(1955) and Andhari wildlife sanctuary (1986). It is popularly known as the ‘Jewel of Tadoba’ and has the highest number of tigers (69 tigers).
Sanjay Gandhi National Park
It is one of the most liked national parks in Maharashtra. Leopards, Macaques, Boars, Lions, Flying fox, Kingfisher, Sunbirds and butterflies are found here.
Gugamal National Park
Located in the hilly terrain of Amravati District of Maharashtra, this park spreads over a whopping 1673.93 square kilometres. As a part of the Melghat Tiger Reserve, Gugamal National Park is known to be among the last ones to house the Indian tigers.
Malvan Marine Sanctuary
This is the only marine sanctuary in Maharashtra. It was established in 1987 and expands over an area of 27 square kilometres. It offers an unexploited environment for marine flora and fauna including coral, pearl oysters, seaweed, mollusca and over 30 species of fish.
Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary
This was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 1985. It is popular for Indian Bison or Gaurs and some leopards, tigers, sloth bears etc. It is also known as Bison Sanctuary.
Nagzira wildlife sanctuary
It is a rich biodiversity park located near Nagpur in Maharashtra. It is also known as open outdoor museum.
Navegaon National Park
Built in the 1800s, this park is based in the Gondia District of Maharashtra. It includes a bird sanctuary, known as Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary which houses almost 65% of the bird species that are found in the state of Maharashtra.
Bharmragarh Wildlife Sanctuary
It is located in the Chandrapur district of Maharashtra. This wildlife sanctuary in Maharashtra is home to various animal species like leopards, the blue bull, peacock, flying squirrel, wild boar etc.
Sagareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary
It is located in Sangli district of Maharashtra and has a variety of wildlife animals such as deer, wild boar, striped hyena and porcupines living in their natural habitat.
Karnala Bird Sanctuary
It lies on the Mumbai-Pune highway. This bird sanctuary in Maharashtra houses as many as 150 species of resident birds and 37 types of avian migrants.
Melghat Tiger Reserve
This reserve houses 82 tigers and other animals like panthers, sloth bears, sambar, wild bear, and wild dogs. It is one of the 9 tiger reserves identified by Project Tiger. The core area and the buffer area of the reserve are formed by the beautiful blend of Gugamal National Park and Chikhaldara Wildlife Sanctuary.
Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary
It is located in the Ambegaon and Khed talukas of Pune and is said to be one of the finest protected habitats of the Indian Giant Squirrel which is the state animal of Maharashtra.
Bor Wildlife Sanctuary
It is located near Hingani in Wardha District of Maharashtra. It is recognized as a tiger reserve and has been merged with the famous Pench tiger reserve.
The National Parks in Maharashtra showcase the region’s rich biodiversity. They are an extension of the Western Ghats that flank the southern states of India and they house some of India’s indigenous flora and fauna.
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