Thursday, August 24, 2023

Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary

Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

The Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area located in the Western Ghats of Goa, India. It is one of the most significant wildlife sanctuaries in the region and is named after the Mhadei River that flows through it. 

The sanctuary boasts a diverse range of flora, including moist deciduous forests, semi-evergreen forests, and evergreen forests. The Western Ghats' unique ecosystem supports a variety of plant species. The sanctuary is particularly well-known for its sacred groves that protect rare and indigenous trees. 

The sanctuary is a haven for birdwatchers, as it houses numerous species of birds. Malabar pied hornbill, grey-headed bulbul, rufous babbler, and white-bellied blue flycatcher are some of the species found here. It is known for its nesting grounds of critically endangered Long-billed vultures.

The sanctuary is part of the larger Western Ghats region, which is recognized as a biodiversity hotspot. The connectivity between different protected areas in the Western Ghats is important for the movement of wildlife and maintaining genetic diversity.

Table of Contents

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

Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary Location

The Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the North Goa District, Sattari taluka near the town of Valpoi. It is situated in the northern part of Goa, near the border with the neighboring state of Karnataka.

Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary in Goa is the Dabolim Airport (also known as Goa International Airport), located approximately 70-80 kilometers away, depending on the specific entry point to the sanctuary.

Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary is the Karmali, which is located at a distance of around 30 kilometers from the sanctuary.

Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary History

The Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary has a history that is intertwined with the conservation efforts in the region and the recognition of its ecological importance. Here's an overview of its historical development:

Recognition of Ecological Importance: The Western Ghats, where the sanctuary is located, has long been recognized as a biodiversity hotspot and a region of ecological significance. The dense forests and diverse species found in the Western Ghats attracted attention from conservationists and researchers.

Establishmnet: The sanctuary was initially established as a wildlife sanctuary in 1999 to protect the area's unique flora and fauna. It was named after the Mhadei River that flows through the region.

Flora and Fauna Conservation: Over the years, the sanctuary has played a crucial role in protecting various species of plants and animals native to the Western Ghats. It provides habitat for several endangered and rare species, contributing to their conservation.

A Landmark Decision for Tiger Conservation: In a watershed moment for tiger conservation efforts, the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court has taken decisive action. The court has issued a momentous directive to the Government of Goa, mandating the formal declaration of the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary and its contiguous regions as a tiger reserve, operating under the purview of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. 

This groundbreaking decision came into effect on the 24th of July, 2023, and carries a significant stipulation: the formal notification process must be completed within a span of three months from the aforementioned date.

Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary Area

The Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary encompasses an area of approximately 208.48 square kilometers (80 square miles). This expansive protected area is nestled within the picturesque landscapes of the Western Ghats in the state of Goa, India. 

Its diverse habitats, ranging from moist deciduous forests to semi-evergreen and evergreen forests, provide a sanctuary for a wide array of plant and animal species, contributing to the sanctuary's significance in biodiversity conservation.

Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary Hills

Nestled within its expanse are some of the most prominent geographical features in the region. The Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary proudly harbors the distinction of being home to the three highest peaks in Goa. These majestic hills stand as sentinels of the sanctuary's rugged terrain:

(1) Sonsogod:

This is the highest peak in Goa, standing at an elevation of approximately 1,027 meters (3,369 feet) above sea level. Sonsogod Hill offers stunning vistas of the surrounding landscape and is a notable geographic feature of the sanctuary.

(2) Talavche Sada:

Another noteworthy peak within the sanctuary is Talavche Sada, which rises to an elevation of around 812 meters (2,664 feet) above sea level. It adds to the sanctuary's rugged terrain and contributes to the diversity of habitats within the protected area.

(3) Vageri:

Vageri Hill, with an elevation of about 725 meters (2,379 feet) above sea level, is another significant hill in the sanctuary. Its presence adds to the sanctuary's unique topography and provides a diverse range of habitats for wildlife.

Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary River

The Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary is graced by the presence of the Mhadei River, which flows through the sanctuary's verdant landscapes. The river lends its name to the sanctuary and significantly contributes to the area's ecological diversity. 

The Mhadei River originates in the Western Ghats, in the Belgaum district of Karnataka, and meanders through the sanctuary's terrain in Goa. The sanctuary acts as a catchment area for the Mhadei River. It meets the Arabian Sea at Panaji, Goa.

The Mahdei Wildlife Sanctuary and Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park all fall within the Mhadei River basin.

The presence of the river supports a variety of aquatic life, including fish species, amphibians, and aquatic plants. It also serves as a source of water for the sanctuary's resident and migratory bird populations.

Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

The Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary boasts a rich and diverse array of flora, showcasing the unique ecosystems of the Western Ghats. The sanctuary's varied habitats, ranging from moist deciduous forests to evergreen forests, provide niches for a wide range of plant species. 

Here are some of the notable elements of the sanctuary's flora:

(1) Moist Deciduous Forests:

These forests are characterized by trees that shed their leaves during the dry season. Teak, bamboo, Terminalia species, Lagerstroemia species (crepe myrtle), and Dillenia species are some of the trees that thrive in these habitats.

(2) Evergreen and Semi-Evergreen Forests:

These forests retain their foliage throughout the year. Trees such as Dipterocarpus indicus (honnes), Cullenia exarillata, Garcinia species, and Eugenia species are found in these lush habitats.

(3) Sacred Groves:

The sanctuary also features sacred groves—areas set aside for religious or cultural reasons. These groves are often characterized by a rich diversity of plant species due to minimal human interference.

(4) Bamboo Diversity:

Bamboo species are prevalent throughout the sanctuary, contributing to its rich biodiversity. Bamboos provide habitat and food for various wildlife species.

(5) Orchids and Ferns:

The sanctuary's humid and diverse habitats make it an ideal location for orchids and ferns. These delicate and intricate plants contribute to the sanctuary's aesthetic appeal.

(6) Aquatic and Riparian Vegetation:

The presence of the Mhadei River and other water bodies within the sanctuary supports aquatic and riparian vegetation. These plants provide habitat and food for aquatic species.

Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

What is the fauna of Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary?

The Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse array of fauna, reflecting the rich biodiversity of the Western Ghats. Here are some of the notable animal species that inhabit the sanctuary:


  • Tiger
  • Leopard
  • Sloth Bear
  • Sambar Deer
  • Bonnet Macaque
  • Grey Langur
  • Wild Boar
  • Asian Palm Civet


  • Nilgiri Wood Pigeon
  • Malabar Parakeet
  • Malabar Grey Hornbill
  • Grey-headed Bulbul
  • Rufous Babbler
  • White-bellied Blue-flycatcher
  • Crimson-backed Sunbird


  • Banded Kukri
  • Beddome’s Keelback
  • Green Pit Viper

Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. In which state is Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary located?

A. Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the North Goa District, Sattari taluka near the town of Valpoi. It is situated in the northern part of Goa, near the border with the neighboring state of Karnataka

Q. How many tigers are there in Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary?

A. 5 Tigers are there in Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary.

Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary

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