Friday, July 7, 2023

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area located in the Terai region of Uttar Pradesh, India. The sanctuary spans an area of approximately 400 square kilometers (150 square miles) and is part of the larger Dudhwa-Katarniaghat Wildlife Reserve, which also includes the Dudhwa National Park.

Established in 1975, Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is home to several flagship species, including the Royal Bengal tiger, Indian rhinoceros, Asian elephant, swamp deer (Barasingha), and Gangetic dolphin. Other notable wildlife species found here include leopards, sloth bears, wild boars, spotted deer, sambar deer, gharial, and various species of birds and reptiles.

The diverse ecosystem of the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is mainly influenced by the presence of the Girwa river, which provide water to the area and contribute to the formation of wetlands and marshes. These water bodies attract a significant number of migratory birds during the winter months, making it a popular destination for birdwatching.

Table of Contents

  • Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary Location
  • Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary History
  • Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary Area
  • Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary River
    • Girwa River
  • Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary Tribe
    • Tharu
  • Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary Flora
  • Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary Dolphins
  • Gharial and Mugger Crocodiles
  • Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary Location

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Bahraich district of Uttar Pradesh, India. It lies in the Terai region, which is situated along the India-Nepal border. It is a protected area in the Upper Gangetic plain in Uttar Pradesh.

The sanctuary is positioned approximately 200 kilometers away from Lucknow, the capital city of Uttar Pradesh.

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is Lucknow's Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport. It is located approximately 215 kilometers away from the sanctuary. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary.

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is Bahraich Railway Station. It is situated around 50 kilometers (31 miles) away from the sanctuary. From Bahraich Railway Station, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach the sanctuary. 

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary History

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary Established

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary has a rich history that dates back several decades. Here are some key points in the sanctuary's history:

Establishment: The sanctuary was established in 1975 under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. It was initially spread over an area of 40 square kilometers (15 square miles). Over time, the sanctuary's boundaries were expanded, and it now covers approximately 400 square kilometers (150 square miles).

Tiger Reserve: In 1987, Dudhwa National Park and the Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary was together declared a tiger reserve. In 2000, the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary was added in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary Area

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary covers an approximate area of 400 square kilometers (150 square miles). In addition, it also includes buffer region, which measues 150.03 The Katerniaghat wildlife includes the total area 551.02

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary area is a part of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve. The Katerniaghat Forest provides strategic connectivity between tiger habitats of Dudhwa and Kishanpur in India and the Bardia National Park in Nepal. 

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary River

The Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is traversed by Girwa River. This river play a crucial role in shaping the ecosystem and providing water resources within the sanctuary.

Girwa River:

The Girwa River, also known as the Girwa Khad, is a tributary of the Ghaghra River. It originates from the Sharda River near Dudhwa National Park and flows through the sanctuary. The Girwa River creates a network of channels and tributaries, forming wetlands and marshes that are vital habitats for various species of aquatic plants, birds, and animals.

This river, with their associated wetlands and water bodies, contribute to the biodiversity and ecological balance of the sanctuary. It provide water resources for wildlife, support a variety of aquatic and avian life, and create a unique habitat within the sanctuary.

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary Tribe

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is home to several indigenous communities, including various tribal populations. One of the prominent tribal groups in the region is the Tharu community. The Tharu people have a long history of inhabiting the Terai region, which encompasses parts of Uttar Pradesh and Nepal. They have a unique culture, language, and traditional way of life.

The Tharu community has traditionally relied on the forest and its resources for their livelihoods, including agriculture, fishing, and gathering of forest products. They have a deep connection with the natural environment and possess traditional knowledge about the flora and fauna of the region.

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

The fragile Terai ecosystem of Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary indeed comprises a mosaic of sal and teak forests, lush grasslands, numerous swamps, and wetlands. Here is more information about each of these components:

(1) Sal Forests:

Sal (Shorea robusta) forests are dominant within the sanctuary. Sal trees, with their tall and straight trunks, provide shade and shelter to various wildlife species. Sal forests are characterized by a dense canopy, which creates a cool and shaded understory.

(2) Teak Forests:

Alongside sal forests, teak (Tectona grandis) forests are also present in the sanctuary. Teak trees are highly valued for their timber and are known for their strong and durable wood.

(3) Grasslands:

Lush grasslands are interspersed within the sanctuary, providing important feeding grounds for herbivores such as deer and rhinoceros. These grasslands support a variety of grass species, contributing to the overall biodiversity of the sanctuary.

(4) Swamps and Wetlands:

The sanctuary is home to numerous swamps and wetlands, including marshes, oxbow lakes, and beels. These waterlogged areas are characterized by emergent vegetation, such as reeds and sedges. They serve as breeding grounds for aquatic life and attract a wide range of bird species.

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is renowned for its diverse fauna, including numerous species of mammals, birds, reptiles, and aquatic life. Here are some of the notable wildlife species found within the sanctuary:

It is home to a number of endangered species including gharial, tiger, rhino, Gangetic dolphin, swamp deer, hispid hare, Bengal florican, the white-backed and long-billed vultures.


  • Royal Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris)
  • Indian Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis)
  • Swamp Deer (Barasingha) (Rucervus duvaucelii)
  • Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus)
  • Leopard (Panthera pardus)
  • Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus)
  • Wild Boar (Sus scrofa)
  • Spotted Deer (Axis axis)
  • Sambar Deer (Rusa unicolor)
  • Gangetic Dolphin (Platanista gangetica)


  • Bengal Florican
  • Great Slaty Woodpecker
  • Sarus Crane
  • Painted Stork
  • Lesser Adjutant
  • White-rumped Vulture
  • Pallas's Fish Eagle
  • Grey-headed Fish Eagle
  • Great Hornbill
  • Indian Pitta


  • Gharial
  • Mugger Crocodiles 
  • Sandboa
  • Banded Krait
  • Burmese Rock Python
  • Yellow Speckled Wolf-snake
  • Paradise Flying Snake
  • Red Coral Kukri Snake

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary Dolphins

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is known for being home to the Gangetic Dolphin (Platanista gangetica), an endangered freshwater dolphin species. The sanctuary's proximity to the Girwa river provides suitable habitat for these dolphins to thrive.

Gangetic Dolphins, also known as the Ganges River Dolphins, are known for their unique physical features, including a long, slender body, a long beak, and small eyes. They are predominantly found in rivers, especially in deep pools and slow-moving sections. The Gangetic Dolphins are classified as a flagship species, indicating their importance in freshwater ecosystem conservation.

These dolphins are highly adapted to life in river systems and rely on echolocation to navigate and locate prey, which mainly consists of small fish and crustaceans. The Gangetic Dolphins are considered indicators of river health, as their presence signifies the ecological integrity of the aquatic habitat.

In Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, visitors have the opportunity to witness the Gangetic Dolphins through guided boat rides or by observing them from designated spots along the riverbanks. Their playful behavior and graceful movements make them a popular attraction for tourists and wildlife enthusiasts.

Efforts are being made to conserve and protect the Gangetic Dolphins in Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary and the surrounding areas. These conservation initiatives aim to address threats such as habitat degradation, water pollution, and accidental entanglement in fishing gear, in order to ensure the long-term survival of this iconic and endangered species.

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary Gharial and Mugger Crocodiles 

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its populations of Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) and Mugger crocodiles (Crocodylus palustris). Here is some information about these reptiles in the sanctuary:

(1) Gharial:

The Girwa River, which flows through Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, is considered one of the best places in the world to see Gharials in their natural habitat. The Gharial is a critically endangered crocodilian species with a distinct long, narrow snout. The sanctuary's population of Gharials was one of the few breeding populations left when conservation efforts were initiated in 1975.

Unfortunately, between the years of 2001 and 2005, almost all the gharial nests were raided by tribals who consider them a delicacy, posing a threat to their conservation. Efforts have been made to address these challenges and protect the remaining Gharial population.

(2) Mugger Crocodile:

Mugger crocodiles are also present in the Girwa River, as well as in smaller numbers in stagnant wetlands like taals and baghars found within the sanctuary. Mugger crocodiles are relatively larger and more aggressive compared to Gharials. They are adapted to various aquatic habitats and are known for their ability to survive in both freshwater and brackish water environments.

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. In which state is Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary?/Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary where?

A. Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Bahraich district of Uttar Pradesh, India.

Q. Which river flows through Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary?

A. Girwa river flows through Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary.

Q. What is Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary famous for?

A. Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for several reasons:

(1) Endangered Species: The sanctuary is renowned for its role in conserving and protecting endangered species. It is home to the critically endangered Gharial, a species of crocodile, and the Indian Rhinoceros. The sanctuary also provides a habitat for other threatened species such as the Royal Bengal Tiger, Swamp Deer (Barasingha), and Gangetic Dolphin.

(2) Gangetic Dolphin Conservation: The sanctuary is recognized for its efforts in conserving the Gangetic Dolphin, an endangered freshwater dolphin species. The Girwa river that flow through the sanctuary provide suitable habitat for these dolphins. Conservation programs aim to protect their populations and raise awareness about their ecological importance.

Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary

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