Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary

Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

The Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. It boasts a variety of ecosystems, including alpine pastures, deciduous and coniferous forests, and riparian zones along the Parvati River

This sanctuary is celebrated for its pivotal role in safeguarding a plethora of species, including the elusive snow leopard, globally threatened Western Tragopan, and vibrant Cheer Pheasant.

Beyond its conservation efforts, the sanctuary beckons ecotourism and researchers alike. The presence of charismatic wildlife like the snow leopard draws nature enthusiasts, supporting local economies and fostering awareness of environmental preservation. 

For scientists, it serves as a living laboratory, inviting the study of intricate ecological interactions and contributing to our understanding of Himalayan ecosystems.

Table of Contents

  • Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary Location
  • Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary History
  • Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary Area
  • Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary River
  • Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary Flora
  • Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary Location

The Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Parbati Valley of the Kullu district in Himachal Pradesh, India. It is situated within the Great Himalayan Range.

The sanctuary is contiguous with the Great Himalayan National Park and is known for its importance in preserving various species of flora and fauna in the region

Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to the Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary in the Parbati Valley of Himachal Pradesh is the Kullu-Manali Airport, also known as Bhuntar Airport. This airport is located in Bhuntar, which is approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles) away from the sanctuary.

Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to the Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary is Joginder Nagar Railway Station, which is located in Joginder Nagar, Himachal Pradesh. 

Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary History

Establishment: The Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary was officially established in the year 1954, marking its formal recognition as a protected area. This milestone marked the beginning of efforts to conserve its unique biodiversity, natural habitats, and ecological significance.

Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary Area

The Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary is extended over an expanse of 60.7 square kilometers. This size indicates the area within which the sanctuary aims to protect and conserve its diverse range of flora and fauna. 

Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary River

The Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary is bordered by the Parvati River, which flows north of the sanctuary. The presence of the Parvati River adds to the diverse habitats and ecosystems within the sanctuary. Rivers and water bodies often play a crucial role in providing water, food, and shelter for various plant and animal species, contributing to the overall biodiversity of the area.

The Parvati River and its associated riparian habitats could provide important resources for the wildlife within the sanctuary, and they may also contribute to the movement and migration of certain species. Additionally, riverside areas can attract a variety of bird species, amphibians, and other aquatic life.

Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

The Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its diverse flora that thrive across its varying altitudes and ecosystems. Here is a general overview of the flora that can be found within the sanctuary:

(1) Alpine Flora:

At higher elevations, the sanctuary have a range of alpine vegetation, including hardy plants adapted to the harsh conditions of the high mountains. These might include alpine grasses, dwarf shrubs, and hardy perennials.

(2) Sub-Alpine and Temperate Forests:

Lower down the altitude gradient, you may find sub-alpine and temperate forests. These forests composed of various species of oak, pine, fir, and other conifers. Rhododendrons, which are known for their vibrant flowers, also present.

(3) Deciduous Forests:

Deciduous forests found at slightly lower altitudes. These forests include species like oak, maple, and other deciduous trees. These areas particularly rich in biodiversity and provide habitats for various animals and birds.

(4) Riparian Vegetation:

Along the banks of the Parvati River, you might find riparian vegetation, which includes various plants adapted to wet environments. These areas can support a wide range of wildlife and bird species.

Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

What animals are in Kanwar Wildlife Sanctuary?

The Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse range of fauna, including various mammal, bird, and other animal species. Here is an overview of the fauna that can be found within the sanctuary:


  • Snow Leopard
  • Blue Sheep
  • Ibex
  • Musk Deer
  • Himalayan Tahr
  • Leopard
  • Brown Bear
  • Asiatic Black Bear
  • Yellow-throated Marten
  • Himalayan Palm Civet
  • Himalayan Weasel
  • Indian Fox
  • Golden Jackal
  • Goral
  • Barking Deer
  • Serow
  • Common Giant Flying Squirrel
  • Tibetan Wolf


  • Western Tragopan
  • Cheer Pheasant


  • Himalayan Pit Viper
  • Himalayan Keelback
  • Various species of lizards and skinks

Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. Where is Kanwar Wildlife Sanctuary?

A. The Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Parbati Valley of the Kullu district in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is situated within the Great Himalayan Range and is characterized by its diverse altitudes, steep terrain, and rich biodiversity. The sanctuary is contiguous with the Great Himalayan National Park and is known for its importance in preserving various species of flora and fauna in the region.

Q. What is Kanwar Wildlife Sanctuary famous for?

A. The Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the Parbati Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India, is famous for several reasons:

(i) Biodiversity Hotspot: The sanctuary is renowned for its rich biodiversity, housing a diverse range of flora and fauna adapted to the Himalayan ecosystems. It serves as a habitat for various endangered and threatened species.

(ii) Snow Leopard Habitat: The sanctuary is one of the areas where the elusive and endangered snow leopard (Uncia uncia) can be found. The presence of this iconic big cat highlights the sanctuary's significance in conserving this rare species.

(iii) Western Tragopan and Cheer Pheasant: The sanctuary is home to globally threatened bird species such as the Western Tragopan (Tragopan melanocephalus) and the Cheer Pheasant (Catreus wallichii). These birds are important indicators of the sanctuary's avian diversity and conservation efforts.

(iv) Habitat Diversity: The sanctuary's varying altitudes contribute to a wide range of habitats, including alpine pastures, sub-alpine forests, deciduous forests, coniferous forests, and riparian zones. This diversity supports a variety of wildlife species.

(v) Ecotourism Potential: The sanctuary's unique ecosystems and the presence of charismatic species like the snow leopard attract ecotourism and nature enthusiasts, contributing to local economies while promoting awareness and conservation.

Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary

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