Wildlife in Dehradun
The research program at WII in Dehradun is decided by the Training Research Advisory Committee (TRAC), which consists of renowned academicians, conservationists and representatives of various wildlife institutions. Furthermore, many South-Asian countries often send their employees for training at the WII in Dehradun making it a very important institution in wildlife conservation.
Famous Wildlife Sanctuaries in Dehradun
Rajaji National ParkEstablished in 1983, Rajaji National Park is located on the foothills of Himalayas, amidst the Shivalik Ranges. The park has been named after the renowned freedom fighter, one of the first recipients of Bharat Ratna Award (1954) and the first Governor-General of India – C. Rajagopalachari, also known as Raja ji. Earlier known as Rajaji Wildlife, Rajaji National Park was formed by merging three major wildlife sanctuaries, namely, Motichur, Chila and Rajaji. The park is spread over an area of 820 square kilometers, covering nearly three of the major districts of Uttarkakhand – Dehradun, Haridwar and Pauri Garhwal.
The park is open to tourists from 15th November to 15th June and is closed during monsoons. The climate is temperate and ranges between 13 and 38 degrees Celsius. One can enjoy many activities like Bird Watching, Trekking, Rafting and Jeep Safaris in the park. There are many affordable tours available by Wild Brook Retreat for the tourists. The park also consists of many comfortable guesthouses for visitors who want to stay in the park. Located approximately 56 kilometers from Dehradun, one can easily drive down to the park or hire a taxi. Rajaji National Park has around 49 species of mammals and reptiles, 315 species of birds and 10 species of amphibians. However, the park is especially known for having the largest population of elephants, tigers and leopards.
Assan Barrage Bird SanctuaryFamously called the Dhalipur Lake, Assan Barrage Bird Sanctuary was established in 1967 and is located at the union of Yamuna River and Assan River. Situated about 40 kilometers west of Dehradun, Assan Bird Sanctuary is very famous for bird watching. Popular between both amateur and professional bird watchers, this sanctuary has about 53 species of birds, out of which 19 migrate from Eurasia around winter months. During winters, almost 90% of the bird population consists of more than ten migratory species including Common Pochard, Pintail, Brahminy Duck, Gadwall, Mallard, Red Crested Pochard Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Common Teal and Shoveller.
The best time to visit the bird sanctuary is from October to December and between March and April. Professional bird watchers can also come between May and September, which is when a lot of migratory birds take sanctuary here. The best way to reach Assan Bird Sanctuary is by hiring a car or a taxi from Dehradun.
Malsi Deer Park
Located about 10 kilometers from Dehradun (enroute Mussoorie), Malsi Deer Park is one the most popular tourist attractions in Uttarakhand. It is a mini-zoological park that consists of a beautifully developed children’s park. Famous for having one the largest population of deer in the country, Malsi Deer Park is home to Neelgai, a two-horned deer and other animal species like Tigers, Peacocks etc. With a pleasant climate and captivating natural surroundings, Malsi Deer Park is an ideal tourist cum picnic spot of Dehradun that is suitable for all ages. The best way to reach here is to either take a bus or hire a taxi from Dehradun.