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Il parco nazionale di Keoladeo, in passato chiamato santuario degli uccelli di Bhartpur, è un'area naturale protetta che si trova nello stato del Rajasthan, in India. Al suo interno si trovano numerose specie protette, soprattutto uccelli (fra i quali molti sono in pericolo di estinzione, come ad esempio la gru siberiana che viene a svernare in questa regione). Nel parco sono state censite oltre 230 specie di uccelli. Nel 1971 è stato dichiarato area protetta, mentre nel 1985 è entrato a far parte dell'elenco dei Patrimoni dell'umanità dell'UNESCO. Il santuario venne creato 250 anni e deve il suo nome ad un tempio dedicato a Keoladeo (Shiva) che si trova entro i suoi confini. Inizialmente era una depressione naturale che venne allagata quando il Maharaja Suraj Mal costruì il cosiddetto Ajan Bund, nel XVIII secolo. Questa specie di diga venne creata alla confluenza di due fiumi, il Gambhir ed il Banganga, creando di fatto un'enorme riserva di caccia in cui i sovrani di Bharatpur potevano organizzare battute annuali in onore dei viceré britannici, tradizione che affonda le proprie radici fin dal 1850. In una sola di queste battute, tenuta nel 1938, l'allora governatore Lord Linlithgow abbatté oltre 4.200 uccelli. Dopo l'indipendenza indiana il diritto di cacciare entro i confini dell'odierno parco vennero mantenuti dagli ex sovrani fino al 1972. nel 1982 venne vietato il far pascolare animali all'interno dell'area protetta, cosa che portò ad aspri scontri fra gli agricoltori locali ed il governo centrale.
Oltre alle già citate gru siberiane, altre specie degne di nota presenti nel parco sono la casarca, i gabbiani, il mestolone, il codone, le folaghe, la marzaiola, la moretta e il moriglione.
Alla fine del 2004 il governo statale del Rajasthan cedette alle pressioni degli agricoltori che non volevano che l'acqua dei fiumi fosse deviata verso il parco nazionale. Il calo fu drastico, da circa 15 milioni di metri cubi a poco più di mezzo milione e, come risultato, le zone paludose si seccarono, diventando inospitali per le forme di vita che le abitavano e che furono costrette a migrare vestro altre zone, anche molto distanti.

The Keoladeo National Park or Keoladeo Ghana National Park formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India is a famous avifauna sanctuary that plays host to thousands of birds especially during the winter season. Over 230 species of birds are known to have made the National Park their home. It is also a major tourist centre with scores of ornithologists arriving here in the hibernal season. It was declared a protected sanctuary in 1971. It is also a declared World Heritage Site.
Keoladeo Ghana National Park is a man-made and man-managed wetland and one of the national parks of India. The reserve protects Bharatpur from frequent floods, provides grazing grounds for village cattle and earlier was primarily used as a waterfowl hunting ground. The 29 km (18 mi) reserve is locally known as Ghana, and is a mosaic of dry grasslands, woodlands, woodland swamps, and wetlands. These diverse habitats are home to 366 bird species, 379 floral species, 50 species of fish, 13 species of snakes, 5 species of lizards, 7 amphibian species,7 turtle species, and a variety of other invertebrates. Every year thousands of migratory waterfowl visit the park for wintering breeding etc. The Sanctuary is one of the richest bird areas in the world. It is known for nesting of its resident birds and visiting migratory birds including water birds. The rare Siberian cranes used to winter in this park but this central population of Siberian Cranes is now extinct. According to Sir Peter Scott Keoladeo Sanctuary is the world’s best bird area.
The sanctuary was created 250 years ago and is named after a Keoladeo (Shiva) temple within its boundaries. Initially, it was a natural depression; and was flooded after the Ajan Bund was constructed by Maharaja Suraj Mal, the then ruler of the princely state of Bharatpur, between 1726–1763. The bund was created at the confluence of two rivers, the Gambhir and Banganga. The park was a hunting ground for the maharajas of Bharatpur, a tradition dating back to 1850, and duck shoots were organised yearly in honor of the British viceroys. In one shoot alone in 1938, over 4,273 birds such as mallards and teals were killed by Lord Linlithgow, the then Governor-General of India.
The park was established as a national park on 10 March 1982. Previously the private duck shooting preserve of the Maharaja of Bharatpur since the 1850s, the area was designated as a bird sanctuary on 13 March 1976 and a Ramsar site under the Wetland Convention in October 1981. The last big shoot was held in 1964 but the Maharajah retained shooting rights until 1972. In 1985, the Park was declared a World Heritage Site under the world Heritage Convention. It is a reserve forest under the Rajasthan Forest Act, 1953 and therefore, is the property of the State of Rajasthan of the Indian Union. In 1982, grazing was banned in the park, leading to violent clashes between local farmers and the government.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Valter Palone (bayno) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1353 W: 296 N: 2584] (18342)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2013-02-02
  • Categories: Nature
  • Camera: Canon 7D
  • Exposure: f/6.3, 1/2000 seconds
  • More Photo Info: view
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2013-05-17 11:36
Viewed: 827
Points: 36
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Additional Photos by Valter Palone (bayno) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1353 W: 296 N: 2584] (18342)
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