Established in 1980, it is a colossal park sprawling on 3162 sq km. It has shrubs and trees in addition to rolling sand dunes. The vast tracts of sands around Jaisalmer, with their wood fossils have been designated the Desert National Park.
The Desert National Park is an excellent example of the ecosystem of the Thar Desert and its rich fauna. The Sudashri forest post is the most ideal place for observing wildlife in the Desert National Park. Sand dunes form less than 20 percent of the Park, which consists of craggy rocks, pavements and compact salt lake bottoms, intermedial areas and fixed dunes.
There may be little about the desert that calls for protection, leave alone support wildlife but the desert has a fragile eco-system that has a unique variety of species.
Its inhabitants include the blackbuck, Chinkara, wolf, Indian fox, desert fox, hare and desert cat. Flights of sandfrouse start coming to waterholes from sunrise onwards. One also hear the morning call of the grey partridge. Blue tailed and green bee-eaters, drongos, common and bush quail and Indian rollers are birds, which are commonly found around waterholes.
The park is also home to the great Indian Bustard which is peril of extinction. Since the sandy desert has only a few grasses and shrubs, and a low scattering of trees, the leaf cover is sparse. This environment supports the spiny-tail lizard that lives in colonies beneath the ground, desert monitors, sandfish that ‘swim’ under the sands, chameleons and snakes-most notably the deadly Saw-scaled Viper and the Sind Krait. Other species include the desert here, hedgehog, the predatory Indian wolf, desert fox and desert gerbil.
However, it is with the great Indian bustard that the park is famously associated; especially since its conservation efforts have borne fruit. A bird that lives in small flocks, the bustard has strong legs meant for walking and feeds on everything from cereals and berries to grasshoppers, locusts and even snakes.
Other birds in the park include sand grouse, gray partridge, quails, peafowl and insect-eaters like bee-eaters, shrikes, orioles, warblers and babblers nesting in the khair bushes. Special mention must be made of the houbara. A lesser bustard which was saved from extinction and the desert courser which is said to breed in the Thar Desert in its long migratory journey through the desert.
Summer Max : 50.0 degree
Winter Max : 25.0 degree C Min. 9.1 Degree C
Nearest Airport Jodhpur. Several flights from Delhi, Mumbai and other parts of India.
Nearest Rail Head: Jaisalmer on the Delhi Mumbai rail route. Several trains a day from Delhi, Mumbai, Agra, and Jaipur.
Daily buses from Jaisalmer.