The Thar desert is more than a collection of sand dunes. It is the perfect amalgamation of people, places and heritage. Natural heritage is one of the last things people consider when in the desert, but the Thar is home to a diverse collection of wildlife, something that is best seen on a desert safari experience. In this story, we’d like to bring to light some of the more iconic wildlife of the Thar desert, some of which you may be able to spot at our luxury desert camp in Jodhpur!
One of India’s most iconic animals, the Blackbucks are found in decent numbers all around the region. Blackbucks are medium sized antelopes with a trademark black coat of fur that is found in males (with females sporting a light brown coat). Blackbucks are active during the day, which makes spotting them easier. They are also revered throughout the region by the Bishnoi community, and you will find indications of them everywhere in paintings and literature. Blackbucks forage on what sparse desert vegetation is available in the desert region. Males sport a pair of stocky, curved horns, their primary tool for self defense (although some females may grow them as well). They are social animals, like almost all antelopes, with males usually leading the packs!
A desert being that’s far rarer and fewer in numbers, the Great Indian Bustard is India’s heaviest flying bird. The Bustard is a critically endangered species, with fewer than 150 individuals in India, a good number of which are found in Rajasthan. The Bustard is also a tall bird, growing up to nearly 1m in height.
This large impressionable bird became a species of significance when its numbers started dwindling due to habitat loss and poaching for food, and today is a protected species. Special care is given so that it is also not disturbed during its breeding season. Therefore, to come across a Bustard on a desert safari excursion is a great deal for everyone participating.
While big cats are fewer in number this side of the state, the desert has one unique feline: The Desert Cat. Also known as the Asiatic Wildcat, the desert cat is the perfect hunter of the Thar. Dressed in sand colored fur that enables them to blend in perfectly with the environment, and leopard-like rosettes, the desert cat is an ambush predator. It waits for unwary prey to amble along: Small rodents, birds, and even reptiles like Cobras. The Desert Cat is not as common as the Blackbuck, but is still considered as Least Concern thanks to its distribution across other regions in Asia.
All the beings of the desert adapt to the harsh climate and living conditions with perfection. Witnessing them on an evening desert safari brings about a newfound respect for the wild. Manvar Luxury Camps in Jodhpur offers you a bespoke desert safari experience that takes you through the dunes to witness these animals in their element.