Flora and Fauna in Rajasthan
Rajasthan has a rich and varied flora and fauna. The natural vegetation is classed as Northern Desert Thorn Forest. These occur in small clumps scattered in a more or less open form. The density and size of patches increase from west to east following the increase in rainfall.
The Desert National Park in Jaisalmer is spread over an area of 3,162 square kilometres (1,221 sq mi), is an excellent example of the ecosystem of the Thar Desert and its diverse fauna. Seashells and massive fossilised tree trunks in this park record the geological history of the desert. The region is a haven for migratory and resident birds of the desert. One can see many eagles, harriers, falcons, buzzards, kestrels and vultures. Short-toed eagles, tawny eagles, spotted eagles, laggar falcons and kestrels are the commonest of these.
The most prolific vegetation seen in this state is Kejri or prosopis cineraria. This is found majorly in arid zone. Its shape is bean like and is known as sangria. It is not only used as fodder but also consumed as vegetable. It is considered as a delicacy in Rajasthan. Another popular desert vegetable is ker. Variety of shrubs and akaro (scientific name- calotropis precera) are also found in abundance. Since this is desert vegetation, the shrubs have a lot of thorns.
Creeper, shrubs, herbs and bushes dot the shallow wetland landscape in Eastern Rajasthan. Khejri and babul are seen in Keoladeo National Park. More than seventy species of trees can be seen in the Ranthambore National Park. Some prominent species are peepal, Dhak, ber , banyan and khajur. 13 shrub varieties, 30 grass species and more than 100 medicinal species can be seen here. In Mount Abu which is a hill area, species like bamboo, salar , dhavand jamun are found. Rare species of wild roses, ferns and orchids can also be seen here.
A vivid spectrum of faunal wealth can be witnessed in Rajasthan. Here, one can see variety of reptiles, mammals and bird life. In various areas of this state, gazellas and antelopes are found. Jodhpur region is widely inhabited by Black Bucks and in sandy deserts, one can find Indian Gazelle. In open plains, one can easily spot blue bull or nilgai. Indian Tiger is the best representative of cat family in this state. Tigers that are now declared endangered species can be witnessed in National Parks of Sariska and Ranthambhore. Panther or leopard is another species that is threatened. They are found close to Aravallis rocky outcrops and open countryside located in Jodhpur region.
Many migratory birds also visit Rajasthan. The prominent among these is Siberian Crane that travels more than 6000 km to reach Bharatpur. In Keoladeo National Park, more than 375 bird species can be spotted.