Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary

Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

The Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area located in the state of Maharashtra, India. It is notable as the first declared wildlife sanctuary in Maharashtra. The Gaur is the one of the flagship species of the sanctuary, and Radhanagari is widely known as the ‘Bison Sanctuary’.


The sanctuary is famous for the Radhanagari Dam, which forms the reservoir of the Bhogawati River. This dam is not only important for irrigation and drinking water purposes but also serves as a habitat for aquatic life.

The sanctuary is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna species. It is particularly known for its diverse bird population, including both resident and migratory species. The forested areas within the sanctuary are home to a range of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

The Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary is an important conservation area that plays a crucial role in protecting the region's biodiversity. Efforts are made to conserve and rehabilitate various species and their habitats within the sanctuary.

Table of Contents

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

Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary Location

The Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra, India. It is situated at the southern end of the Sahyadris, of the Western Ghats.

Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

the nearest airport to Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary is the Kolhapur Airport (also known as Chhatrapati Rajaram Maharaj Airport). It's located in Kolhapur city, which is approximately 60-70 kilometers away from the sanctuary.

Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary is the Kolhapur Railway Station, which is well-connected to various major cities and towns in Maharashtra and other parts of India.

Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary History

What is the history of Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary?

The history of Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary is closely tied to its ecological significance and the efforts made to protect and preserve its unique biodiversity. Here's a brief overview of its history:

First Wildlife Sanctuary in Maharashtra: Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary holds a significant place in Maharashtra's conservation history as it was the state's inaugural designated wildlife sanctuary. Established in 1958 under the name "Dajipur Wildlife Sanctuary," it earned the popular moniker "Bison Sanctuary" due to its association with the Indian bison (gaur).

UNESCO Designation: Recognized for its ecological importance, Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary forms part of the Sahyadri sub-cluster of the Western Ghats, which has been acknowledged as a natural World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This designation underscores the sanctuary's integral role within the broader Western Ghats ecosystem.

Eco-Sensitive Zone Declaration: In a step to ensure the conservation of its ecological balance, the area surrounding Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary received official recognition from the Government of India. On 15 October 2020, the government declared this zone as an eco-sensitive area, reaffirming the importance of protecting the sanctuary's delicate natural equilibrium and its contribution to the region's biodiversity.

Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary Area

The Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary covers an extensive area of approximately 351 square kilometers (135 square miles). This substantial expanse encompasses diverse landscapes, including dense forests, freshwater bodies, and crucial wildlife habitats. 

Within its boundaries, a rich variety of flora and fauna thrive, making it a vital conservation area in the Western Ghats region of Maharashtra, India.

Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary River/Dam

The Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary is closely associated with the Bhogawati River, primarily due to the presence of the Radhanagari Dam within the sanctuary's boundaries. The Bhogawati River is dammed to create the reservoir formed by the Radhanagari Dam, which serves multiple purposes, including irrigation, drinking water supply, and hydroelectric power generation.

The dam not only contributes to the human needs of the region but also creates a habitat for aquatic life and supports the surrounding ecosystems. The presence of the Bhogawati River and the Radhanagari Dam adds to the diverse array of habitats within the sanctuary, making it an important area for both terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity.

Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

The Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary boasts a rich and diverse range of flora, owing to its location in the Western Ghats, a hotspot of biodiversity. The sanctuary's varied altitudes, soil types, and climatic conditions contribute to the presence of several types of vegetation. 

Some of the notable flora found in the Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary include:

  • Anjani
  • Jambul
  • Hirda
  • Awala
  • Pisa
  • Ain
  • Kinjal
  • Amba
  • Kumbha
  • Bhoma
  • Chandala
  • Katak
  • Nana
  • Umbar
  • Jambha
  • Gela

Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

Which animal is famous in Radhanagari Sanctuary?

The Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse array of fauna, showcasing the rich biodiversity of the Western Ghats ecosystem. The sanctuary provides habitats for various animal species, including both mammals and avifauna. 

Some of the notable fauna found in the Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary include:


  • Tiger
  • Leopard
  • Sloth Bear
  • Gaur
  • Wild Boar
  • Barking Deer
  • Mouse Deer
  • Sambar
  • Wild Dog


  • Nilgiri Wood Pigeon
  • Ceylon Frogmouth
  • Yellow-browed Bulbul
  • Great Pied Hornbill
  • Malabar Whistling Thrush
  • Malabar Grey Hornbill
  • Speckled Piculet
  • Malabar Crested Lark
  • Indian Blue Robin


  • Malabar Pit Viper
  • Deccan Ground Gecko
  • Gunther’s Cat Skink

Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. In which state of India is Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary?/In which district Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary is located?

A. The Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the state of Maharashtra, India. Specifically, it is situated in the Kolhapur district of Maharashtra. This sanctuary is nestled within the Western Ghats region of southwestern Maharashtra and is known for its diverse flora, fauna, and natural beauty.

Q. What is Radhanagari wildlife sanctuary known for?

A. The Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary is known for several significant aspects:

(i) Biodiversity: The sanctuary is renowned for its rich biodiversity, housing a variety of plant and animal species. It is home to species that are both endemic to the Western Ghats and those that are classified as endangered or vulnerable.

(ii) Indian Bison (Gaur): The sanctuary is popularly known as the "Bison Sanctuary" due to its notable population of Indian bison (gaurs). These large herbivores are a key attraction of the sanctuary.

(iii) Indian Giant Squirrel: The sanctuary is home to the Indian giant squirrel (Malabar giant squirrel), a strikingly colorful and iconic species of squirrel found in the dense forests.

(iv) Avian Diversity: Radhanagari is recognized for its diverse bird population. It provides habitat for various resident and migratory bird species, making it a paradise for bird enthusiasts.

(v) Radhanagari Dam: The sanctuary includes the Radhanagari Dam, which forms a reservoir on the Bhogawati River. This dam not only serves as a source of water for irrigation and drinking but also supports aquatic life.

(vi) UNESCO Recognition: The sanctuary is part of the Sahyadri sub-cluster of the Western Ghats, a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its ecological significance.

Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary

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