Chinkara (Gazella bennettii) group in the Desert National Park at Sudashri

Desert National Park

Desert National Park, the area between Sam and Khuri The Thar Desert, which is the world's 18th largest, lies mostly in the Indian State of Rajasthan. The extreme desert includes only nine districts of western Rajasthan and Kutch in Gujarat. It exhibits wide bio-diversity because of its location with Saharan, Palaearctic and Oriental constituents. It has a high avian diversity, though endemic species are low, as the Thar is not isolated.

Within the Thar, Desert National Park is spread in the districts of Jaisalmer and Barmer, in the state of Rajasthan, India. It covers an area of 3162 sq. km. and the Govt. declared it a sanctuary in 1980. The main purpose of reserving the area is to conserve biodiversity, however, only less than 100-sq. km. has protection.

Desert National Park has some unique features when compared to the other Indian protected areas. It is the only PA located in the extreme environment contained in the hot desert bio-geographic zone.

Like other deserts, the climate shows extremes of temperature. Short winter months have a low of -4'C while the temperature shoots above 50'C during the summer. Scanty rains occur during monsoons in the month of July-August. The life forms here have evolved to become extreme climate specialists.

At about 60 km from Jaisalmer the barbed-wire portion of the DNP, at Sudashri, between Sam (sum) and Khuri, represents a contrast from the regular Thar Desert by having a grassy area compared to the arid zone in the nearby places. These grasslands are the major habitat of the highly endangered resident Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps), and the winter migrant Houbara or the Macqueen’s Bustard (Chlamydotis macqueeni). The beaten track is via Sam sand dunes, and then one takes the next left fork to drive 17 km further ahead for Sudashri.

Indian Fox, Vulpes bengalensisSeveral mammals such as the Chinkara (Gazella bennettii) (common), Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) (occasional), Caracal (Felis caracal) (difficult), Indian Fox (Vulpes bengalensis) (occasional) and Desert Hare (Lepus nigricollis dayanus) (difficult) are found here.

Desert Skink (Ophiomorus tridactylus) known as sandfish, which swims inside the sand at about 300mm depth is found here. Spiny-tailed Lizard (Uromastyx hardwickii) is seen commonly, absorbing sun's warmth.

The Laggar Falcon, Common Kestrel, various species of Wheatears, Black-crowned Sparrow Larks, along with innumerable Greater Short-toed Larks, are comfortably seen.

List of birds displayed at the main gate of the DNP.Indian Bustard, Ardeotis nigriceps

Francolinus pondicerianus, Grey Francolin
Coturnix coturnix, Common Quail
Coturnix coromandelica, Rain Quail
Pavo cristatus, Indian Peafowl
Jynx torquilla, Eurasian Wryneck
Dendrocopos mahrattensis, Yellow-crowned Woodpecker
Upupa epops, Common Hoopoe
Coracias garrulus, European Roller
Coracias benghalensis, Indian Roller
Halcyon smyrnensis, White-throated Kingfisher
Merops orientalis, Green Bee-eater
Merops persicus, Blue-cheeked Bee-eater
Apus affinis, House Swift
Bubo bubo, Eurasian Eagle Owl
Athene brama, Spotted Owlet
Asio flammeus, Short-eared Owl
Caprimulgus europaeus, Eurasian Nightjar
Columba livia, Rock Pigeon
Streptopelia senegalensis, Laughing Dove
Streptopelia chinensis, Spotted Dove
Streptopelia tranquebarica, Red Collared Dove
Streptopelia decaocto, Eurasian Collared Dove
Ardeotis nigriceps, Indian Bustard
Chlamydotis macqueenii, Macqueen's Bustard
Grus virgo, Demoiselle Crane
Pterocles exustus, Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse
Pterocles senegallus, Spotted Sandgrouse
Pterocles orientalis, Black-bellied Sandgrouse
Tringa ochropus, Green Sandpiper
Philomachus pugnax, Ruff
Himantopus himantopus, Black-winged Stilt
Charadrius dubius, Little Ringed Plover
Vanellus indicus, Red-wattled Lapwing
Cursorius cursor, Cream-colored Courser
Cursorius coromandelicus, Indian Courser
Elanus caeruleus, Black-shouldered Kite
Milvus migrans, Black Kite
Neophron percnopterus, Egyptian Vulture
Gyps indicus, Long-billed Vulture
Gyps fulvus, Eurasian Griffon
Aegypius monachus, Cinereous Vulture
Sarcogyps calvus, Red-headed Vulture
Circaetus gallicus, Short-toed Snake Eagle
Circus macrourus, Pallid Harrier
Circus pygargus, Montagu's Harrier
Butastur teesa, White-eyed Buzzard
Buteo buteo, Common Buzzard
Buteo rufinus, Long-legged Buzzard
Aquila rapax, Tawny Eagle
Aquila nipalensis, Steppe Eagle
Aquila heliaca, Imperial Eagle
Falco tinnunculus, Common Kestrel
Falco columbarius, Merlin
Falco jugger, Laggar Falcon
Egretta garzetta, Little Egret
Bubulcus ibis, Cattle Egret
Ixobrychus minutus, Little Bittern
Ixobrychus sinensis, Yellow Bittern
Lanius collurio, Red-backed Shrike
Lanius isabellinus, Rufous-tailed Shrike
Lanius vittatus, Bay-backed Shrike
Lanius schach, Long-tailed Shrike
Lanius meridionalis, Southern Grey Shrike
Corvus splendens, House Crow
Corvus ruficollis, Brown-necked Raven
Corvus corax, Common Raven
Dicrurus macrocercus, Black Drongo
Ficedula parva, Red-breasted Flycatcher
Luscinia svecica, Bluethroat
Saxicoloides fulicata, Indian Robin
Phoenicurus ochruros, Black Redstart
Saxicola macrorhyncha, Stoliczka's Bushchat
Saxicola torquata, Common Stonechat
Saxicola caprata, Pied Bushchat
Oenanthe picata, Variable Wheatear
Oenanthe xanthoprymna, Rufous-tailed Wheatear
Oenanthe deserti, Desert Wheatear
Oenanthe isabellina, Isabelline Wheatear
Sturnus pagodarum, Brahminy Starling
Sturnus roseus, Rosy Starling
Acridotheres tristis, Common Myna
Pycnonotus leucotis, White-eared Bulbul
Pycnonotus cafer, Red-vented Bulbul
Prinia buchanani, Rufous-fronted Prinia
Prinia gracilis, Graceful Prinia
Prinia sylvatica, Jungle Prinia
Megalurus palustris, Striated Grassbird
Sylvia nana, Desert Warbler
Sylvia hortensis, Orphean Warbler
Eremopterix nigriceps, Black-crowned Sparrow Lark
Ammomanes phoenicurus, Rufous-tailed Lark
Ammomanes deserti, Desert Lark
Alaemon alaudipes, Greater Hoopoe Lark
Melanocorypha bimaculata, Bimaculated Lark
Calandrella brachydactyla, Greater Short-toed Lark
Calandrella rufescens, Lesser Short-toed Lark
Galerida cristata, Crested Lark
Alauda gulgula, Oriental Skylark
Nectarinia jugularis, Olive-backed Sunbird
Nectarinia asiatica, Purple Sunbird
Passer domesticus, House Sparrow
Passer hispaniolensis, Spanish Sparrow
Motacilla alba, White Wagtail
Motacilla flava, Yellow Wagtail
Anthus campestris, Tawny Pipit
Anthus similis, Long-billed Pipit
Bucanetes githagineus, Trumpeter Finch
Emberiza striolata, House Bunting
Emberiza melanocephala, Black-headed Bunting

Nearby places of interest

Wood Fossil Park

On the road to Barmer, at 17 Kms from Jaisalmer, the Akal Fossil Park takes you back to the Jurassic era. Almost 180 million years ago this place was a forest. When this forest submerged into the sea, it fossilized the trees. These fossils now lie scattered in the park and are partly visible in the bare hillsides of reddish stone and mica. The entire area is almost 21 hectares. The largest fossil tree is 13 meters in length and 1.5 meters in width, locked securely behind a wire mesh cage set by the forest office.

There is a small entry fee at the entrance.

Important birds:
Plain Leaf Warbler, Phylloscopus neglectus
Desert Lark, Ammomanes deserti
Eurasian Eagle Owl, Bubo bubo
Buzzards etc.

Kheechan (Kichan)
Between Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, this village near Phalodi attracts thousands of wild Demoiselle Cranes (Grus virgo) and in the morning and evening, they descend to a small enclosure to feed on the grains strewn for them, brought in by the truckloads. This enclosure called the "Chuggaghar" is operated by a voluntary organization.
A large congregation of Demoiselle Cranes inside the legendry enclosure
update: 23 Nov 2009
About/Terms of use

Recommended resolution : 1024 x 768 and above only

Copyright © 2006-2011 birdpoints. All rights reserved.