Popular Flora and Fauna To Explore In Keoladeo National Park

Planning a birdwatching tour in India? Keoladeo National Park, formerly called Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, is the best place to be. One of the world’s most significant bird breeding and feeding grounds, this national park shelters more than 370 species of birds and animals.

The park was once a royal hunting ground in the 1850s and a game reserve for Maharajas and the British. It was declared a national park in 1982 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. The most popular and rare bird species only found in this region of India is the critically endangered Siberian Crane.

It can be spotted during the winter. Other birds found in Keoladeo National Park are pelicans, wagtails, eagles, spotted bill ducks, white-breasted kingfishers, partridges, honey buzzards, rose-ringed parakeets, and more. Also, many aquatic birds come here from Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Siberia, and China.

Wildlife in Keoladeo National Park includes Nilgai, Chital, Sambar, Jungle Cat, Jackals, striped hyenas, civets, and more. To move around the park, there are dedicated treks you can take on either foot, cycle, or rickshaw.The rickshaw pullers here are trained by the park management in bird watching and are also knowledge guides.

Read below to know the flora and fauna of Keoladeo National Park in detail

Fauna of Keoladeo National Park

Keoladeo is a bird watcher’s paradise with almost 370 bird species. The park is an ideal spot for birds due to its strategic location, which attracts many migratory birds in the Indian subcontinent. Moreover, the wetland is a great location to spend winters.

And it is in winter only that you get to see the critically endangered Siberian Crane. Also, the location of Keoladeo National Park is such that it is a breeding area for waterfowl like cormorants, storks, and herons.

Apart from birds, there are macroinvertebrates like insects, worms, and mollusks are found in abundance. They are the birds and fishes’ common food that brings balance to the ecosystem. There are about 27 mammal species in this park, including Chital, Nilgai, Feral Cattle, and Sambar. Indian porcupine and wild boar, along with two species of Indian mongoose, are found here.

Here is the top fauna in Keoladeo National Park. Take a look.


Indian Gray Mongoose

The scientific name of the Indian Gray Mongoose is Herpestes edwardsi. They are found in Keoladeo National Park and control poisonous snakes and rats. They are known for combating snakes and have special techniques and adaptations.

Indian Gray Mongoose has also been seen in thicket areas, bushy vegetation, and in cultivated fields. You can also see them in open areas and grasslands. To sleep, they dig holes in the ground or hollow trees.

Indian Gray Mongoose’s physical features include a long body, short legs, and highly developed glands. Their body is covered in thick texture and is mostly identified by their silver-gray, salt-pepper speckled fur and white-tipped tail. In addition, they have 40 teeth and weigh anywhere between 0.5 to 4 kg.

Golden Jackal

Small-sized mammals compared to their relatives, the wolves, and wild dogs, Golden Jackal is the only species of Jackal found in India. Scientifically called Canis aureus indicus, golden jackals are opportunistic feeders. They have a golden brown coat with mottled fur in between.

When winter comes, it changes to a darker coat. They mostly live in dry deciduous forests, semi-arid regions, agricultural regions, and near human settlements. Generally, they do not hunt in packs but in pairs. Also, Golden Jackal is a monogamous species, and thus, they mate for life, keeping their pups in a den.

But for faster escape, they have multiple dens with many openings. Jackals are scavengers and mostly kill tigers or leopards but small species like Chital are also their food.


One of the largest Asian antelope species native to the Indian subcontinent, Nilgai is a major species of fauna in Keoladeo National Park. Also called Boselaphus tragocamelus and translated to ‘blue cow’, Nilgai has been associated with Indian culture since the Vedic period (1500-500 BC). In Hinduism, it is a sacred animal.

They are herbivores and feed on grass and herbs. Nilgai is active during the day and moves together in three distinct groups. One or two females with young calves. You can easily spot them as they have a white patch on their throat, sturdy legs, and hair behind and behind the shoulder.

This mammal species is classified as ‘Least Concerned in India’ by the IUCN Red List and is protected under Schedule III of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.

Species of birds in Keoladeo National Park

Siberian Crane

The third rarest crane, the Siberian Crane (Grus leucogeranus), traditionally migrated about 5,500 km south across Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russian Federation, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan before it arrived in Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan, India.

Also, they cover approx. 6,000 km while they migrate. The IUCN Red Data List has listed it as a critically endangered species. It is also listed in national, regional, and local Red Data Books).They are segregated into Eastern and Western/Central Asian populations.

They use three migration routes – Eastern, Central, and Western Flyways. The eastern population of this bird species is 3,500-3,800, as per a 2013 report, which is 98% of the total population of this bird species. As per a 2010 report, only 3,200 Siberian Cranes are left in the world.

Painted Stork

Found in the freshwater wetlands and in coastal regions, the Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala) is one of the most beautiful birds found in Keoladeo National Park. They have distinct pink tertial feathers.

Painted Stork visit shallow waters in flocks and dip their half-open beaks in water and sweep them from side to side to catch small fishes. It is a huge bird 90 to 100 cm in length and 2,000 to 3,500 grams in weight. Also, their wingspan is about 150 to 150 cm.

Painted Storks breed in colonies on treetops and build nests in undisturbed locations. Also, they lay two to five eggs, and the chicks are given regurgitated fish to feed on. Despite having a good population in India, they are listed under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as ‘Near Threatened’.

Spotted owlet

Scientifically named Athene brama, Spotted owlet breeds in tropical Asia from India to Southeast Asia. It is a small owl species that is a common resident of open habitats like farmland and human habitation. Spotted owls live in the hollow of a tree or in rocks or buildings’ cavities.

They lay three to five eggs and show variation in their size. These owls are known to humans due to their loud calling and have been associated with bad omens. In Hindu mythology, the owl is the mode of transport (Vahan) of Goddess Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth.

The name brama pays homage to Brahma, the Hindu supreme spirit. Apart from this, Spotted owls look small at 21 cm in size. Their upper body is grayish brown and has white spots. The underparts are white, streaked with brown.

Flora of Keoladeo National Park

The region of Keoladeo National Park is semi-arid and has dry deciduous forest type, blended with dry grassland. The park has medium-sized trees and shrubs. The region is covered by kalam or kadam (Mitragyna parvifolia), Jamun (Syzygium cumini), and Babul (Acacia nilotica). Apart from these, you will also find small portions of Kandi and Ber in open woodland areas.

Ber and kair cover the scrublands and piloo are found in woody plants in areas of saline soil. Apart from the land, the aquatic vegetation is also rich and has valuable food for waterfowl. Keoladeo’s annual precipitation is 662 mm, with an average of 36 days of rain per year.

Here is the top fauna in Keoladeo National Park. Take a look

Babul (Gum arabic tree)

Babul (Vachellia nilotica) is an evergreen tree found in the desert and sub-desert regions. They are commonly found in dry, sandy regions like Keoladeo National Park where there is little to no rainfall. Also, it requires temperature climates due to its sensitivity to frost easily.

The Babul tree has green leaves and fruit that turns yellow when ripped. This fruit is used for medical purposes in the country as it has antioxidants and nutrients like vitamins A and C.

Jamun (Java Plum)

Botanically known as Syzygium Cumini, the Jamun tree is quite common in India and is found in abundance in Keoladeo National Park. Indians have a special affection towards this tree due to its taste, medical benefits, and because it is quite easily available.

Jamun is used in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine traditions to cure ailments. It has other names like Malabar Plum and Jambolan.

Kadam (Burflower-tree)

Also called Neolamarckia cadamba scientifically and burflower tree, the Kadam plant tree is also called by different names like white jabon, ardt pine, and Chinese autocephalous. It yields fruit in the month of May, and thus, it is also known as the May tree.

It grows quickly and is an evergreen tropical tree with unique flowers that are native to South and Southeast Asia. Kadam is one of the most essential medicinal plants that belongs to the Rubiaceae family.

Now that you have the details about the popular flora and fauna in Keoladeo National Park, it is time to visit and spot them in person. For a hassle-free wildlife tour in India, we offer private tours with comfortable stays, including meals and guided tours for the best wildlife sightings. For more information about the tour, connect with our travel experts.

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