This small part of Bhal region (34.52 sq.km.), which was declared as Blackbuck National Park in July 1976, is open grassland. The sanctuary has been declared primarily for Blackbucks. The beauty of the grassland is enhanced by the movements of blackbucks and nilgais, which one can see from long distances. The blackbuck is most conspicuous for its jumping over the levels of grass.
|Near Vallabhipur, District Bhavnagar.|
|34.52 sq. km.|
The majestic blackbucks are less shy of human being here and one has a sure chance of watching them in their natural mood, leaping high in air, running, feeding drinking, rutting and chasing. The herds of blackbucks are of different gender combinations like mixed, all males and all females. The courtship process in blackbucks is quite similar to what used to be called "swayamvara" in good old days. The males have to fight with other males to win over the females. This fight, which is a common sight at Velavadar during the mating season, may even be a fight to finish leading to the death of the weaker.
A small wetland in the southern part of the Park attracts birds like pelicans, flamingoes, ducks, waders, coots, white storks, painted storks and sarus cranes etc. The Park is a heaven for demoiselle cranes, common cranes and a variety of raptors including certag spotted eagles and steppe eagles.
The Park provides one of the world's best roosting sites to thousands of Harriers that arrive here from Central Europe for wintering. Peculiar courtship display by Lesser floricans could also be seen. Lesser florican is one of the fifty rarest birds of the world and the park has been supporting the breeding of quite a good number of this species.
An entirely different experience of the wildlife begins to transcend as the darkness falls. The persistent howls of jackal add to the feeling of true wilderness. The long, deep and threatening howls of wolves, occasionally penetrate the darkness .
The grassland lies between two rivers namely Parvalia and Alang, which drain into the Gulf of Cambay. During the monsoon the area is often flooded. The blackbuck herds are mostly to be found in the northern part of the sanctuary, while the southern part has patches of thorn forest providing excellent opportunities for bird watching (specially birds of prey). The Alang river forms the southern border of the Park and is the favourite retreat for wolves. The park can be toured by vehicle and also on foot.
The animal attains adulthood at the age of two and a half to three years. The female gives birth to only a single offspring at a time.