Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area located in the state of Kerala, India. It is situated in the Western Ghats and part of Agsthyamalai Biosphere Reserve.

The sanctuary is named after the Shendurney River, which flows through it. The river and its tributaries contribute to the rich biodiversity of the area and provide important water sources for the wildlife.

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its diverse flora and fauna. It is home to a variety of plant species, including tropical evergreen forests, moist deciduous forests, and grasslands. The sanctuary is inhabited by numerous animal species, including elephants, tigers, leopards, deer, wild boars, and various species of birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary offers opportunities for eco-tourism and nature exploration. There are trails and pathways within the sanctuary that allow visitors to explore its natural beauty while adhering to responsible ecotourism practices.

The sanctuary is managed by the Kerala Forest Department and is designated as a protected area to conserve the unique ecosystems and wildlife of the Western Ghats. Conservation efforts include preventing poaching, habitat destruction, and promoting sustainable tourism.

Table of Contents

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

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary Location

The Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Kollam District of Kerala, India. The sanctuary is part of the Western Ghats. It is situated on the north of Kulathupuzha Valley and separated by the Churuttumala Ridge, it is bounded by the Sahyadri range on the east. 

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary is the Trivandrum International Airport (Thiruvananthapuram International Airport), which is located in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), the capital city of Kerala. The airport is situated at a distance of approximately 75 to 80 kilometers from the sanctuary.

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary is the Kollam Junction Railway Station, also known as Quilon Junction. It is located in Kollam city, which is about 65 to 70 kilometers away from the sanctuary.

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary History

The Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary has a history closely tied to conservation efforts and the recognition of the region's ecological importance. 

Pre-British Era and Dense Evergreen Forests: Before the British colonial era, the region that now encompasses the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary was characterized by extensive and dense evergreen forests. These forests held significant timber value and were integral to the ecosystem and biodiversity of the area.

Impact of British Colonization: During the period of British colonization, a trend emerged where white planters acquired substantial land tracts with the ostensible aim of cultivating coffee and tea crops. However, the true intention behind these acquisitions was often the exploitation of valuable timber resources found within the forests.

Devastation of Forests for Timber: The arrival of white planters led to the ruthless destruction of the dense evergreen forests. These planters prioritized timber extraction for its economic benefits, leading to the degradation and clearance of significant portions of the landscape. The forests, rich in biodiversity and vital to the local ecosystem, suffered considerable damage during this period.

Conservation and Restoration Efforts: In the aftermath of the timber exploitation, efforts were eventually undertaken to reclaim the land and restore the damaged areas. Forest authorities and conservationists recognized the importance of rehabilitating the landscape to its natural state. Many of the previously cleared areas were gradually reclaimed and brought back under forest cover through reforestation initiatives.

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary Formation: In 1984, recognizing the need to protect the remaining natural habitats and biodiversity, the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary was established. This protected area was intended to safeguard the ecosystem and prevent further degradation. The sanctuary not only aimed to preserve the diverse flora and fauna of the region but also to restore the delicate ecological balance that had been disrupted.

Inclusion in UNESCO World Heritage Site: The Western Ghats, including the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary, is part of the Western Ghats World Heritage Site recognized by UNESCO. The Western Ghats were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2012 due to their outstanding biological diversity and ecological significance.

Current Status and Importance: Today, the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary stands as a testament to the resilience of nature and the efforts invested in conservation. Through reforestation and protective measures, many of the degraded areas have started to recover, allowing the ecosystem to gradually regain its vitality.

Educational Significance and Sustainable Practices: The history of timber exploitation and subsequent conservation efforts serve as valuable lessons in environmental management. The sanctuary not only provides habitat for a variety of species but also serves as an educational hub, raising awareness about the importance of sustainable practices and the preservation of natural resources.

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary Area

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary covers an approximate area of 171 square kilometers. This area encompasses a diverse range of ecosystems, including tropical evergreen forests, moist deciduous forests, grasslands, and riverine habitats. 

Most of the Sanctuary area (about 25 km long and 10 km broad) is hilly and interspersed with ravines.

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary River

The Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary is enriched by the presence of the Shendurney River, which flows through the sanctuary's landscape. The river plays a significant role in shaping the sanctuary's ecosystems, biodiversity, and overall ecological balance.

The Shendurney River serves as a crucial water source for the wildlife and plant life within the sanctuary. It provides drinking water and sustenance for a variety of species that inhabit the region.

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

The Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary boasts a diverse array of flora, contributing to its status as a vital biodiversity hotspot. The sanctuary's varying ecosystems, including different forest types and wetlands, harbor numerous plant species that collectively shape the sanctuary's unique ecological landscape.

(1) Forest Types in Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary:

(i) West Coast Tropical Evergreen Forest: This type of forest is characterized by its dense canopy, with trees retaining their leaves throughout the year. It's well-suited to the region's high rainfall and offers habitat to a wide range of flora and fauna.

(ii) Southern Hilltop Tropical Evergreen Forest: Similar to the West Coast Tropical Evergreen Forest, this forest type occurs at higher altitudes. It features evergreen trees adapted to cooler temperatures.

(iii) West Coast Tropical Semi-Evergreen Forest: In this forest type, some tree species shed their leaves during certain periods of the year. It bridges the gap between evergreen and deciduous forests.

(iv) Southern Secondary Moist Mixed Deciduous Forest: This type of forest features both evergreen and deciduous trees, creating a unique mix of species adapted to seasonal changes.

(v) Myristica Swamp Forest: These are swampy, marshy areas characterized by the presence of species like Myristica spp., which includes nutmeg trees.

(vi) Southern Sub-Tropical Hill Forests: Occurring at higher elevations, these forests host species adapted to subtropical climates.

(vii) Reed Brakes and Grassland: These open areas are dominated by grasses and reeds and are integral for certain species and ecosystems.

(2) Prominent Flora:

  • Gluta travancorica
  • Terminalia paniculata (East Indian Almond)
  • Pterocarpus marsupium (Indian Kino Tree)
  • Cullenia exarillata
  • Palaquium ellipticum
  • Mesua ferrea (Ironwood tree)
  • Poeciloneuron indicum

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

What animals are in the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary?

The Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse range of fauna, including a variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. The sanctuary's varied ecosystems, including forests, wetlands, and grasslands, provide habitats for numerous species. 

Here are some examples of the fauna found in the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary:


  • Asian Elephant
  • Indian Giant Squirrel 
  • Gaur
  • Sambar
  • Barking Deer 
  • Malabar Giant Squirrel
  • Nilgiri Langur
  • Lion-tailed Macaque
  • Slender Loris 
  • Tiger


  • Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon 
  • River Tern 
  • Small Indian Pratincole 
  • Tickell’s Leaf Warbler 
  • Western Crowned Warbler 
  • Large-billed Leaf Warbler 
  • Rufoustailed Flycatcher 
  • Brown-breasted Flycatcher 
  • Blue-headed Rock-thrush 


  • Southern Birdwing 
  • Malabar Rose 
  • Malabar Tree Nymph 
  • Red Helen 
  • Southern Duffer 
  • Blue Pansy 
  • Malabar Raven


  • King Cobra 
  • Malabar Pit Viper 

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary in which state?/Which district is Shenduruny in?

A. The Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the state of Kerala, India. Specifically, it is situated in the Kollam District of Kerala. The sanctuary is part of the Western Ghats mountain range and is known for its biodiversity, unique ecosystems, and conservation efforts.

Q. Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary famous for?

A. The Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for its rich biodiversity, diverse ecosystems, and its role in conserving a wide range of plant and animal species. Here are some key aspects for which the sanctuary is renowned:

(i) Biodiversity Hotspot: The sanctuary is situated in the Western Ghats, a recognized biodiversity hotspot. It houses a diverse array of flora and fauna, many of which are endemic or endangered species.

(ii) Endangered Species: Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary is home to various endangered and iconic species. The presence of such species highlights the sanctuary's importance for conservation efforts.

(iii) River Systems: The presence of rivers like Shendurney, Kazhuthuruthy, and Kulathupuzha, along with their tributaries, enhances the sanctuary's ecological value. These rivers contribute to the sanctuary's hydrology and provide habitats for various aquatic species.

(iv) UNESCO World Heritage Site: The sanctuary is located within the Western Ghats, a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized for its outstanding biological diversity and ecological significance.

(v) Conservation Efforts: Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary plays a vital role in conserving the fragile ecosystems of the Western Ghats. Conservation initiatives are aimed at protecting habitats, preventing poaching, and promoting sustainable practices.

Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary

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