Saturday, August 26, 2023

Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

The Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area located in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, India. It was established with the purpose of conserving the rich biodiversity and natural beauty of the region. 

The sanctuary is named after the Sharavathi River, which flows through it. This river and its tributaries are essential for the ecosystem and provide water to the region's wildlife. The sanctuary also includes several waterfalls, with Jog Falls being the most famous. Jog Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in India and is a major tourist attraction.

The sanctuary encompasses a vast area of diverse ecosystems, including evergreen and semi-evergreen forests, moist deciduous forests, and grasslands.

The sanctuary is also a haven for birdwatchers, as it hosts a diverse range of avian species. Some of the notable bird species found here include the Malabar trogon, great Indian hornbill, Malabar whistling thrush, and various species of eagles and vultures.

The primary goal of the sanctuary is to protect and conserve the region's unique biodiversity, as well as its natural landscapes and water resources. The area is also crucial for maintaining ecological balance within the Western Ghats.

Table of Contents

  • Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Location
  • Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary History
  • Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Area
  • Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary River
  • Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Lake
  • Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Flora
  • Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Location

Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Sharavathi River Valley of Sagar Taluk in Shimoga District of Karnataka, India. 

The Sanctuary shares its southwestern boundary with the Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary. The eastern part of the Sanctuary is occupied by Linganamakki Reservoir, serving the dam on the Sharavathi river.

Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to the Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is the Hubli Airport. It is located in Hubli city in the state of Karnataka, India. The airport is approximately 150-160 kilometers away from the sanctuary, and it's the nearest major airport for travelers looking to visit the sanctuary.

Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

As for the nearest railway station, the Sagara Jambagaru Railway Station is the closest one to the Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. It's located in Sagara town, which is the gateway to the sanctuary. The sanctuary is roughly 18-20 kilometers away from Sagara. This railway station is connected to various cities in Karnataka and other parts of India through the Indian Railways network.

Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary History

The Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary has a history intertwined with the conservation efforts in the Western Ghats region of Karnataka, India. Here is a brief overview of its history:

Establishment: The sanctuary was established with the aim of preserving the rich biodiversity of the Sharavathi River Valley and its surrounding ecosystems. It was declared a sanctuary on 20th January 1972, under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. It was notified with a final notification on 27 June 1974.

Conservation Importance: The Western Ghats, where the sanctuary is located, is recognized as one of the world's biodiversity hotspots due to its high levels of species diversity and endemism. The Sharavathi Valley is an integral part of this hotspot and is home to numerous plant and animal species, some of which are unique to this region.

Hydroelectric Projects: The Sharavathi River, which flows through the sanctuary, has been a site of significant hydroelectric projects. The Linganamakki Dam and the Jog Falls Hydroelectric Power Plant are located in the vicinity. These projects have implications for the ecosystem and water flow in the region, making the role of the sanctuary in maintaining ecological balance even more important.

Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Area

The Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of approximately 431 square kilometers (166 square miles). This expansive sanctuary is situated in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, India. 

The protected area encompasses a diverse range of habitats, including dense forests, grasslands, water bodies, and waterfalls. Its large size allows for the preservation of various ecosystems and the species that rely on them. The sanctuary's size contributes to its importance in maintaining biodiversity within the Western Ghats region.

Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary River

The Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is named after the Sharavathi River, which flows through the sanctuary and plays a vital role in shaping its ecosystem. The river and its tributaries are significant features of the sanctuary's landscape and contribute to its biodiversity and overall ecological health. 

One of the most famous landmarks within the sanctuary is Jog Falls, which is formed by the Sharavathi River. Jog Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in India and is a spectacular sight, attracting tourists and nature enthusiasts.

The river's flow and water availability contribute to the overall ecological balance of the sanctuary. It ensures the survival of plants and animals that depend on water, and it supports the interconnectedness of different species within the ecosystem.

The Sharavathi River has also been harnessed for hydroelectric projects in the region, which have implications for water flow and ecosystems. Conservation efforts within the sanctuary consider these factors to maintain the health of the river and its surroundings.

Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Lake

Eastern part of the Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is occupied by the Linganamakki Reservoir. This reservoir was created by the construction of the Linganamakki Dam on the Sharavathi River. 

The dam was built in 1964-65, and its reservoir serves several purposes, including hydroelectric power generation, irrigation, and water supply. The presence of the Linganamakki Reservoir significantly influences the ecology of the sanctuary. 

Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

The Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its diverse flora, which includes a variety of plant species that thrive in the Western Ghats' unique ecosystem. The sanctuary's varied elevations, ranging from lowlands to hills, contribute to the presence of different types of vegetation. 

Here are some of the prominent flora found within the sanctuary:

(1) Evergreen and Semi-Evergreen Forests:

These types of forests are characterized by their lush greenery throughout the year. They contain a mix of evergreen trees, which retain their leaves year-round, and semi-evergreen trees, which shed some leaves during specific periods. Tree species like teak, rosewood, sandalwood, and various types of fig trees can be found in these forests.

(2) Moist Deciduous Forests:

Moist deciduous forests are characterized by trees that shed their leaves during the dry season. Species like teak, jackfruit, and silver oak are common in these forests. These areas often exhibit a burst of new growth during the wet season.

(3) Bamboo Groves:

Bamboo is a prominent component of the sanctuary's vegetation. These thickets provide habitat and food sources for various wildlife species, and they play a role in maintaining soil stability and water retention.

(4) Riparian Vegetation:

Along the banks of rivers and streams, you'll find specialized vegetation known as riparian vegetation. These plants are adapted to the moist conditions near water bodies and help stabilize the soil along riverbanks.

(5) Grasslands:

The sanctuary also features grasslands, which are open areas dominated by various grass species. These habitats can support a unique range of wildlife and are important for maintaining ecological diversity.

Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

What animals are in Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary?

The Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse range of fauna, reflecting the rich biodiversity of the Western Ghats ecosystem. The sanctuary's varied habitats, including forests, grasslands, and water bodies, provide shelter and resources for numerous animal species. Here are some of the notable fauna that can be found within the sanctuary:


  • Lion-Tailed Macaque
  • Tiger
  • Leopard
  • Wild Dog
  • Jackal
  • Sloth Bear
  • Spotted Deer
  • Sambar
  • Barking Deer
  • Mouse Deer
  • Wild Boar
  • Common Langur
  • Bonnet Macaque
  • Malabar Giant Squirrel
  • Giant Flying Squirrel
  • Porcupine
  • Otter
  • Pangolin


  • Grey Jungle Fowl
  • Peacocks
  • Wood Peckers
  • Fly Catchers
  • King Fisher
  • Whistling Teal
  • Bulbuls
  • Maina
  • Bee Eaters
  • Drango


  • Land monitor lizard
  • Python
  • King Cobra
  • Tortoises

Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. Which district is Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary in?

A. Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Sharavathi River Valley of Sagar Taluk in Shimoga District of Karnataka, India. 

Q. What is Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary famous for?

A. The Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for several reasons, including its rich biodiversity, scenic landscapes, and notable natural features. Here are some of the key aspects for which the sanctuary is renowned:

(i) Biodiversity Hotspot: The sanctuary is located within the Western Ghats, a globally recognized biodiversity hotspot. It is home to a wide range of plant and animal species, including several endemic and rare species.

(ii) Diverse Flora and Fauna: The sanctuary boasts a diverse array of flora and fauna, including iconic species like tigers, elephants, great Indian hornbills, Malabar giant squirrels, and many more.

(iii) Jog Falls: The sanctuary includes Jog Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls in India and a major tourist attraction. The falls are a spectacular natural feature and a highlight of the sanctuary.

(iv) Landscape Variety: The sanctuary encompasses various ecosystems, from evergreen and semi-evergreen forests to grasslands and water bodies. This variety of habitats supports a wide range of species.

(v) Eco-Tourism: The sanctuary offers opportunities for eco-tourism and nature enthusiasts to explore its natural beauty and observe wildlife in their natural habitats.

(vi) Hydroelectric Projects: The presence of the Sharavathi River and associated dams adds an interesting dimension, as the Linganamakki Dam and Jog Falls Hydroelectric Power Plant are located within or near the sanctuary.

(vii) Cultural Heritage: The sanctuary is also home to indigenous and local communities whose traditional practices have contributed to the region's cultural and ecological richness.

Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

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