Difference between wildlife sanctuary and national park

Difference between wildlife sanctuary and national park

Fauna constitutes the main natural heritage of the whole world. Continued industrialization and deforestation threaten to wipe out wildlife. Thus, to preserve the natural heritage of the country, nature reserves, national parks, biosphere reserves, etc. are reserved.. Wildlife sanctuaries refer to an area that offers protection and suitable living conditions for wild animals.

The national park ensures the protection of the entire ecosystem (flora, fauna, landscape, etc.) of this region. Finally, biosphere reserves constitute protected regions, which tend to conserve the genetic diversity of animals, plants, birds, etc.

The article snippet attempts to clarify the difference between animal sanctuary and national park, so take a read.

Basis of Comparison wildlife Sanctuary national park
DefinitionNatural habitat that is the property of government which ensures to protect animal and birds speciesProtected region which is made by government to conserve wildlife
PreserveAnimals, reptiles, birds, insects, etc.Flora, fauna, historical objects, etc.
RestrictionsLess restrictions, available openly to publicAlmost not allowed to public
Official permissionNo required fields Required fields
Human activityAllowed to some extentTotally prohibited

Definition of wildlife Sanctuary

The Wildlife Sanctuary, as the name suggests, is the place reserved exclusively for the use of wildlife, which includes animals, reptiles, insects, birds, etc. wild animals, especially endangered and rare ones, so that they can live in peace all their lives and keep their populations viable.

To ensure the proper management of the sanctuary, rangers or guards are appointed to patrol the area. They ensure the safety of animals, whether they are poachers, former or harassers.

International Union for the Conservation of Nature, soon to be called because the IUCN has grouped wildlife sanctuaries into category IV of protected areas.

Definition of the national park

National Park involves an area exclusively designated by the government for the conservation of wildlife and biodiversity due to its natural, cultural and historical significance. It is the home to thousands and millions of animals, birds, insects, microorganisms, etc. of different genes and species, which provides them with a healthy environment.

National parks not only preserve wildlife, but also entertain the environmental and landscape heritage in a way that does not harm it, so as to provide pleasure for future generations. Planting, cultivation, grazing, hunting and predation of animals, destruction of flowers are highly prohibited.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) proclaimed national parks in Category II of protected areas. To visit national parks, official authorization from the competent authorities is required.

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Main differences between the wildlife sanctuary and the national park

The points given below explain the difference between nature reserve and national park:

  • The wildlife reserve can be understood as the regions where the fauna and its habitat are protected from any disturbance. Conversely, a national park is a countryside area specially designed for wildlife, where they can live freely and use natural resources.
  • Wildlife sanctuaries are renowned for the protection of wildlife, which includes animals, insects, microorganisms, birds, etc. of different genes and species. In addition, the national parks are well known, conserving flora, fauna, landscapes and historical objects.
  • Wildlife sanctuaries aim to ensure the maintenance of a significant population of wildlife and its habitats. On the other hand, the national parks protect the environmental, landscape and cultural heritage of the area.
  • Regarding restrictions, national parks are extremely restricted areas, which are not open to all residents, while wildlife sanctuaries have fewer restrictions than national parks.
  • To visit national parks, official authorization must be obtained from the competent authorities. On the other hand, no official authorization should be taken to visit a wildlife reserve.
  • The limits of wildlife reserves are not sacrosanct. However, national parks have clearly defined boundaries.
  • Human activities are permitted to a limited extent in wildlife reserves, but in the case of national parks, they are strictly prevented by the authorities.


Wildlife reserves and national parks are favorite tourist spots for nature lovers. Most national parks were originally sanctuaries for wildlife, which later turned into national parks.

In India, the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 was enacted with the aim of protecting endangered species and spreading the nation’s conservation area, for example national parks.

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