Flora and Fauna
The Malnad region is a biodiversity hotspot with a rich diversity of flora and fauna. The region has protected areas classified as wildlife sanctuaries to ensure the protection of these species:
- Gudavi Bird Sanctuary is in Sorab Taluk. The sanctuary is spread over an area of 0.74 km2 (180 acres)
- There are many species of flora found here: Vitex leucoxylon; Phyllanthus polyphyllus; Terminalia bellerica; Terminalia paniculata; Terminalia chebula; Lagerstroemia lanceolata; Dalbergia latifolia; Haldina cordifolia; Xylia xylocarpa; Caryota urens; Ficus bengalensis; Ficus religiosa; Butea monosperma; Santalum album; Diospyros melanoxylon; Madhuca longifolia; Kirganelia reticulata.
- 191 species of fauna have been recorded here: 63 are water-dependent; 20 species are known to breed here. Water birds in the sanctuary include Black-headed Ibis; darter; little cormorant; Indian shag; cattle egret; little egret; large egret; spoonbill; grey heron; purple heron; pond heron; night heron; coot; pheasant-tailed jacana; purple swamphen; common sandpiper; little ringed plover; little grebe; cotton teal. An average of about 8000 white ibis visit the sanctuary every year.
- Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is in Sagar Taluk. It has evergreen and semi-evergreen forests with its eastern portion adjoining the Linganamakki reservoir.
- The species of flora found here: Dipterocarpus indicus; Calophyllum tomentosum; Persea macrantha; Caryota urens; Aporosa lindleyana; Calycopteris floribunda; Entada scandens; Acacia concinna; Gnetum scandens. In the semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests, common species include: Lagerstroemia microcarpa; Hopea parviflora; Dalbergia latifolia; Dillenia pentagyna; Careya arborea; Emblica officinalis; Randia; Terminalia; Vitex altissima.
- The animals found here: gaurs; lion-tailed macaque; tiger; leopard (black panther); wild dog; jackal; sloth bear; spotted deer; sambar deer; barking deer; mouse deer; wild pig; common langur; bonnet macaque; Malabar giant squirrel; giant flying squirrel; porcupine; otters; pangolins. Reptiles include king cobra; python; rat snake; crocodile; monitor lizard. Avian species found here: three species of hornbill; Asian Paradise-flycatcher; Racket-tailed Drongo; Blue-throated Barbet; lories and lorikeets.
- Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary lies adjacent to Shimoga town and has forests ranging from dry deciduous to semi-evergreen and is spread over an area of 395.6 km2 (152.7 sq mi). Large areas of forests have been destroyed due to fire.
- Trees of the dry deciduous parts include Terminalia tomentosa; Terminalia bellerica; Gmelina arborea; Tectona grandis; Anogeissus latifolia; Lagerstroemia; lanceolata; Wrightia; tinctoria; Cassia fistula; Emblica officinalis. In the moist deciduous forest species like Adina cordifolia; Xylia xylocarpa; Grewia; tilaefolia; Kydia Calycina; Bamboos; Dendrocalamus; strictus; Bambusa; arundinacea. The semi-evergreen forests are represented by species Dipterocarpus; Michelia; Hopea; Schleichera; Bambusa. Plantations like Acacia auriculiformis; Tectona grandis; Grevillea robusta also exists in the sanctuary.
- Mammals in the sanctuary include tiger; leopard; wild dog; jackal; gaur; elephant; sloth bear; sambar deer; spotted deer; wild pig; common langur; bonnet macaque; common mongoose; striped-necked mongoose; porcupine; Malabar giant squirrel; giant flying squirrel; pangolin. Python; cobra; king cobra; rat snake; marsh crocodile are among the reptiles found in the sanctuary. Birds include hornbills; kingfishers; bulbuls; parakeets; doves; pigeons; kingfishers; babblers; flycatcher; munias; swallows; woodpeckers; peafowl; jungle fowl; partridges. A tiger and lion safari at Tyavarekoppa was created in the northeastern part of the sanctuary in 1988.
- Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary was started in 1951 as Jagara valley game sanctuary covering an area of about 252 km2 (97 sq mi). It was combined with the surrounding Lakkavalli forests in 1972 and given its present name of Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary. It now spans an area of 492 km2 (190 sq mi). Some of the wild animals found in this sanctuary are tiger; leopard; wild dog; jackal; elephant; gaur; sloth bear; sambar deer; spotted deer; monitor lizard; barking deer; wild boar; common langur; bonnet macaque; slender loris; the Malabar giant squirrel. Some of the bird species found here are Malabar whistling thrush; species of bulbuls; woodpeckers; hornbills; pigeons; drongos; Asian paradise flycatcher. The sanctuary has been recently adopted under a tiger-conservation project called Project Tiger which is an initiative from the Indian government.
- Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is a 1.14-acre (0.46 ha) sanctuary 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Shimoga town on the way to Thirthahalli. This is a small island surrounded by Tunga river. The birds found here are median egret; cormorant; darter; snakebird.
- Sakrebailu Elephant Camp lies 14 km. from Shimoga town on the way to Thirthahalli. This is a training camp where elephants undergo training from mahouts.
- Tyavarekoppa Lion and Tiger Safari lies about 10 km (6.2 mi) from Shimoga town on the way to Sagar. The safari has lions, tigers and deer.
Read more about this topic: Shimoga District
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