Difference Between Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park

Wildlife comprises the primary natural habitat, all over the globe. With deforestation as well as persistent industrialization and  urbanization, there is a threat of extinction to the wildlife. As such, to preserve and conserve the natural lifestyle of a nation’s national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and biosphere reserves, among others are set aside.

Wildlife sanctuaries consist of a territory or region that offers security and a desirable living environment to the wild fauna. On the flip side, national parks offer security to the whole class of the ecosystem, that is, fauna, flora, and landscape, among others, of that particular area. At last, biosphere reserves are the secured regions that intend to protect the genetic classification of the animals, plants, animals, and birds.

Wildlife Sanctuary

A wildlife sanctuary is a facility in which animals are transferred to live and to remain secured for the remaining part of their lives. As compared to animal homes, wildlife sanctuaries do not look for placing animals with groups or individuals. Instead of that they tend to maintain every animal until its natural demise. Yet, they can provide re-homing facilities. In addition, wildlife sanctuaries provide protection to various species of animals and birds such as, the Great Indian Bustard, Musk Deer, and Black Buck.

In a few incidents, a setup can exhibit the features of both a shelter and a sanctuary. For example, there are a couple of animals that might be in a temporary residence unless a proper shelter is discovered, while other animals might be in permanent residence. The aim of wildlife sanctuaries is usually to be safe asylums, in which the animals get the most suitable care possible that the wildlife sanctuaries can offer.

In wildlife sanctuaries, not a single animal is traded, nor are they put into use for animal experiments. Also, no secretions from parts of the animals are used for commercial purposes including, wool, eggs, or milk. The residing animals are provided with the opportunity to act as natural as possible in a secured setting. 

A highly restricted human activity is allowed in wildlife sanctuaries. The hunting and poaching of animals is strictly banned as well as the trees and plants cannot be cut down for agriculture or any other application. There are no clearly carved out boundaries or fencing to prohibit people from entering into wildlife sanctuaries.

Individuals are allowed to walk through wildlife sanctuaries for educational, recreational, or research reasons. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and its World Commission on Protected Areas has specified wildlife sanctuary as its Category IV type of protected regions. Further, in the US, wildlife sanctuaries must get permits by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and monitored by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on a daily basis for aligning with the Animal Welfare Act.

Some of the Famous Wildlife Sanctuaries are as Follows:

  • Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary (Karnataka) – Sambar, porcupine, muntjac, bison, and gaur.

  • Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) – Nilgiri Tahr, spotted leopard, panther, and Indian elephant.

  • Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary (Karnataka) – Flying squirrel, black panther, crocodiles, and tiger. 

National Park

National park refers to a territory or region that is specifically reserved by various governing bodies for the preservation of biodiversity and wildlife owing to its cultural, natural and historical importance. National parks are home to myriads of birds, animals, microorganisms, and insects, among others, that belong to different species and genes that provide a secure and hygienic surrounding to them.

Not only do national parks conserve wildlife, but they also offer a delight of the ecological and scenic heritage in a manner and by those approaches that do not result in any harm to them, in order to deliver amusement to the coming generations. The cultivation, plantation, grazing, predating and hunting of animals, as well as destruction of flowers are strictly banned.

National parks are often a treasury of natural, semi-natural, or developed territory that a governing state calls for or owns. Even though individual countries allocate their own national parks in a different way, there exists a mutual notion: the conservation of 'wild nature' for posterity and as a symbol of national pride. Further, national parks have clearly carved out boundaries.

The International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has designated national parks in its Category II of the protected regions. To pay a visit to national parks, you need to have an official permission from the relevant authorities.

Some of the Famous National Parks are as Follows:

  • Ranthambore National Park (Rajasthan) – Nilgai, leopard, wild boar, and hyena.

  • Nagarhole National Park (Karnataka) – Sloth bear, Indian bison, mugger crocodile, and dung beetles.

  • Sariska National Park (Rajasthan) – Jungle cat, striped hyena, leopard, and golden jackal.

Difference Between Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park (Table) 

The points mentioned below elaborate the difference between national park and wildlife sanctuary:

  • Wildlife sanctuary consists of the areas where wildlife and their habitat are preserved from any sort of disturbance. On the other hand, a national park is the region of the countryside that is especially allocated for wildlife, in which they can live and consume the natural resources with freedom.

  • Wildlife sanctuaries are known for wildlife conservation, which consists of insects, animals, birds, and microorganisms of various species and genes. Conversely, national parks are majorly famous for protecting the fauna, flora, landscape and historical entities.

  • The objective of wildlife sanctuaries is to ensure that a population of the wildlife and their habitats are maintained substantially. Whilst, national parks preserve the scenic, environmental, and cultural heritage of the territory.

  • Talking about restrictions, national parks are significantly restricted regions, which are open only to certain people, while wildlife sanctuaries have lesser restrictions as compared to national parks.

  • To visit national parks, you need to have an official permission to be received from the relevant authorities. On the contrary, no official permission is required to visit a wildlife sanctuary.

  • Boundaries of wildlife sanctuaries are not specified, while they are clearly marked in the national parks.

  • Human activities are allowed to some extent in the wildlife sanctuaries, while in case of national parks, they are strictly banned by the governing authorities.

National Park

Wildlife Sanctuary

National park is a protected territory that is formed by the governing bodies to preserve wildlife and evolve them.

Wildlife sanctuary is natural habitat that is run by the governing bodies or private organizations that protects certain species of animals and birds.

National park preserves fauna, flora, historic objects, landscape, etc.

Wildlife sanctuary preserves birds, animals, insects, reptiles, etc.

The aim of national parks is to protect historic and natural objects as well as the wildlife of the territory.

The aim of wildlife sanctuaries is to ensure that the population of the wildlife and their respective habitats are sustained.

National park is highly restricted and people cannot randomly access it.

Restrictions are relatively less and it is open to people

Official permission is required.

Official permission is not required.

Boundaries are fixed by the administration.

Boundaries are not fixed.

Human activity is not permitted at all.

Human activity is permitted yet to a specific limit.