Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary

Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area located in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The sanctuary encompasses a variety of ecosystems, including forests, grasslands, and coastal habitats. It's known for its rich biodiversity and is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. 

The coastal areas of the sanctuary are also important for various marine species and migratory birds. The unique geographical location of the sanctuary, where the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean converge, adds to its ecological significance.

Visitors to the Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary can enjoy activities like bird watching, nature walks, and exploring the diverse landscapes.

Table of Contents

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

Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary Location

The Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu, India. It is situated near the southernmost tip of the Indian subcontinent, where the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean converge. The sanctuary encompasses various areas around Kanyakumari town and extends along the western coast of the district.

Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary is the Trivandrum International Airport (Thiruvananthapuram International Airport), which is located in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala, India. The distance between the Trivandrum International Airport and Kanyakumari is approximately 90 kilometers (about 56 miles), and it takes around 2 to 2.5 hours by road to reach Kanyakumari from the airport.

Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest major railway station to Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary is the Kanyakumari Railway Station, which is located in Kanyakumari town itself. This railway station is well-connected to various parts of India by train. From the Kanyakumari Railway Station, you can easily access the wildlife sanctuary by road.

Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary History

The Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary has a history tied to its conservation and the preservation of its diverse ecosystem. 

Establishment and Declaration: The sanctuary was officially established and declared in February 2008. This declaration was a significant step towards recognizing the ecological importance of the area and implementing measures for its conservation and protection.

Tiger Habitat DesignationThe Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary is known for being a tiger habitat. This indicates that the sanctuary plays a role in the conservation of the tiger species, which is endangered and requires protected areas to ensure its survival.

Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary Area

The Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of approximately 402.4 square kilometers. This substantial area is dedicated to the conservation and protection of the diverse flora and fauna that inhabit the sanctuary. It provides a habitat for a range of species and helps maintain the ecological balance of the region. 

Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary River

Seven rivers originate in the Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary forest including the Thamirabarani River and Pahrali River. These rivers play a crucial role in shaping the ecosystem and supporting the biodiversity of the sanctuary.

The presence of multiple rivers originating from the sanctuary highlights its importance as a water catchment area and underscores the significance of its conservation efforts. 

These rivers provide water for various purposes, including supporting aquatic life, sustaining vegetation, and meeting the needs of surrounding communities.

Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

What is the flora of Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary?

The Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary encompasses a variety of habitats including moist deciduous forest, dry deciduous forest, and grasslands. As a result, it supports a diverse range of flora. 

Some of the plant species found in the Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary include:

  • Aporosa cardiosperma
  • Chionanthus ramiflorus
  • Croton malabaricus
  • Helicteres isora
  • Ficus benghalensis
  • Gossypium hirsutum
  • Grewia tiliifolia

Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

The Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse range of fauna due to its varied habitats including forests, grasslands, and wetlands. WHere are some of the notable animals that can be found in the sanctuary:


  • Asian Elephant
  • Gaur
  • Lion-tailed Macaque
  • Mouse Deer
  • Nilgiri Tahr
  • Sambar


  • Grey Junglefowl
  • Paradise Flycatcher
  • Brown-breasted Flycatcher
  • Nilgiri Wood Pigeon
  • Crested Serpent Eagle
  • Black Eagle


  • Indian Rock Python
  • Common Indian Monitor Lizard
  • Rat Snake
  • Spectacled Cobra
  • Forest Calotes

Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. In which state Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary is located?

A. The Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Kanyakumari District of Tamil Nadu, India.

Q. Which endangered species are found in Kanyakumari?

A. The Kanyakumari district, including the Mundanthurai-Kalakad Wildlife Sanctuary and its surrounding areas, is home to several endangered species due to its unique habitat and location within the Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot. Some of the endangered species that can potentially be found in this region include:

(i) Lion-tailed Macaque (Macaca silenus): An iconic and critically endangered primate species that is native to the Western Ghats. Its population has been severely impacted by habitat loss and fragmentation.

(ii) Nilgiri Tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius): Although primarily found at higher altitudes, the Nilgiri Tahr is endemic to the Western Ghats and is listed as endangered. It's a wild goat species known for its distinctive curved horns.

(iii) Malabar Civet (Viverra civettina): A small carnivore that is extremely rare and endangered. It's known for its distinctive appearance and is threatened by habitat loss and poaching.

(iv) Indian Giant Squirrel (Ratufa indica): This large squirrel species is native to the Western Ghats and is listed as vulnerable. Habitat loss and fragmentation are major threats to its survival.

(v) Nilgiri Marten (Martes gwatkinsii): A relatively lesser-known species, the Nilgiri Marten is a carnivore that inhabits the high-altitude forests of the Western Ghats and is listed as vulnerable.

(vi) Gaur (Bos gaurus): Also known as the Indian Bison, the Gaur is the largest bovine species and is vulnerable to habitat loss and hunting.

Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary

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