Located on the floating Loktak Lake of Manipur, Keibul Lamjao National Park is the world’s only floating national park. It is a sight to behold; with acres of wetland overgrown with deep floating vegetation called phumdi, the park is home to rare and unique fauna.
The most beloved animal of the region is the endangered Sangai or the brow-antlered deer. In fact, the entire Loktak Lake was declared a sanctuary in 1966 in order to save the deer which was threatened by extinction. This particular species of deer is fondly also called Manipur’s dancing deer because of its delicate gait as it makes its way along the floating wetlands.
Other species of deer seen here include the hog deer, musk deer, sambar and muntjac, isolated populations of which occur in the park and the surrounding hills. Among the primitive primates, the commonly spotted ones include slow loris, Assamese and stump-tailed macaques and the hoolock gibbon (restricted mainly to the hills) and rhesus monkey.
The large Indian civet, small Indian civet, common otter and wild boar are some of the large mammals seen in the area. The population of tiger, leopard, panther, fox, jackal and wild dog has reduced drastically so much so that you’ll hardly spot them anymore. Other rare animals to be sighted occasionally are the wild cats like the marbled cat and Asian golden cat, Himalayan black bear and the Malayan bear.
A variety of avifauna can also be spotted at Keibul Lamjao and Loktak Lake. The birds are primarily of the smaller reed-dwelling species, such as the waterfowl, hooded crane, black eagle, Shaheen falcon, eastern shite stork, bamboo partridge and green peafowl. If you’re a hornbill lover, you’re in for a treat because a lot of hornbill species are spotted here including the brown-backed hornbill, rufous-necked hornbill, wreathed hornbill, and the great pied hornbill.