Difference between Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park

By Sudheer Kumar K|Updated : February 18th, 2021

The Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972 regulates constitution of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. The act provided for the declaration of certain areas by the State Government, by notification, as wildlife sanctuaries and national parks if the area was thought to be of adequate ecological, geomorphological and natural significance.

The Central Government may, if it is satisfied that an area is of adequate ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, natural or zoological significance, for the purpose of protecting, propagating or developing wildlife or its environment, declare it a wildlife sanctuary or National Park by notification. 

Though Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks are created for protection and propagation of wildlife, they are certain key differences between Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park in respect to the purpose of creation, degree of protection, and allowance of human activities etc.

S. No.

Wildlife Sanctuary

National Park

1

531 Wildlife Sanctuaries in India

103 National Parks

2

National Parks enjoy a lesser degree of protection than National Park

National Parks enjoy a greater degree of protection than Wildlife Sanctuary

3

Human activities are allowed

No human activities are allowed

4

Activities like grazing livestock are regulated in sanctuaries.

Even activities like grazing and private tenurial rights are strictly prohibited in National Parks.

 

5

Wildlife sanctuary can be created for a particular species like Tiger or any bird.

It is not primarily focused on a particular species

6

If a state wants to close a sanctuary, gazette notification is enough.

Not the case with National park.

7

For example, Panna Wildlife Sanctuary, Sunderbans Wildlife Sanctuary etc.

Few examples: Gir National Park, Nagarhole National Park etc.

 

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