Saturday, August 26, 2023

Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary

Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

The Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the state of Karnataka, India. It is one of the prominent wildlife sanctuaries in the state, known for its diverse flora and fauna. 

The sanctuary is crisscrossed by numerous streams, nalas, and rivers. Thunga and Kumadwathi are the main rivers, with many tributaries being seasonal.

The sanctuary is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. It houses various charismatic species such as tigers, leopards, langurs, elephants, and more. Other native species of animals and birds are also present in abundance.

The sanctuary features different forest types, including southern tropical dry deciduous, southern tropical moist deciduous, and semi-evergreen forests. Various tree species like Terminalia, Tectona grandis, Lagerstroemia, Adina cordifolia, Xylia xylocarpa, and more are found in these forests.

The Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary has several tourist attractions, including an Elephant Camp at Sacrebyle, Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary, and a Tiger and Lion Safari at Thyavarekoppa.

Table of Contents

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

Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary Location

The Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Shimoga (Shivamogga) district of the state of Karnataka, India The sanctuary spans parts of three taluks: Shimoga, Hosanagara, and Thirthahalli, within the Shimoga district. It is situated around 270 kilometers from Bangalore, the capital city of Karnataka.

The northeastern part of the sanctuary includes the Tiger-Lion Safari at Thyavarekappa, and the Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary, which is located on a small island in the River Tunga, is also part of this sanctuary. 

Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to the Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary is Mangalore Airport (also known as Mangaluru Airport). It is approximately 171 kilometers away from the sanctuary.

Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to the Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary is Shimoga Railway Station. It is located at a distance of about 32 kilometers from the sanctuary.

Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary History

Establishment and Notification: The Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary traces its origins back to a pivotal moment on 23 November 1974. It was on this date that the sanctuary was officially notified, marking its establishment as a designated protected area under the conservation framework of Karnataka, India. This formal recognition set the foundation for the sanctuary's mission to preserve the region's rich ecological diversity.

Ecological Significance and Sahyadri Hills: The history of the sanctuary is deeply intertwined with its ecological significance within the Sahyadri hills of the Western Ghats. Over time, it has emerged as a critical conservation area due to its unique geographical location and the presence of diverse flora and fauna.

Ecotourism and Public Engagement: Embracing a broader vision of conservation, the sanctuary's history includes initiatives in ecotourism and public education. Landmarks such as the Tiger-Lion Safari at Thyavarekappa and the Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary demonstrate a commitment to raising public awareness about wildlife conservation. These attractions foster a deeper understanding of the sanctuary's ecological importance.

Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary Area

The Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary covers an extensive area of 395.60 square kilometers. The sanctuary's substantial size allows for the preservation of diverse habitats, including dry deciduous, moist deciduous, and semi-evergreen forests that are characteristic of the Sahyadri hills in the Western Ghats region. 

This considerable area provides a haven for a wide variety of plant and animal species, contributing to the sanctuary's significance in terms of biodiversity conservation and ecosystem protection.

Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary River

The Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary is traversed by several rivers and water bodies, which contribute to the diverse ecosystems and the rich biodiversity of the region. The main rivers and water sources within or near the sanctuary include:

(1) Thunga River:

The Thunga River is one of the main rivers flowing through the Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary. It plays a crucial role in the hydrology of the region and supports various aquatic and riparian species.

(2) Tunga River Tributaries:

The Tunga River, which flows through the region, has several tributaries and streams that might also pass through or near the sanctuary. These smaller watercourses contribute to the overall water availability and the vitality of the area's flora and fauna.

(3) Kumadwathi River:

The Kumadwathi River is another significant watercourse in the sanctuary. Like the Thunga River, it contributes to the overall ecosystem health and provides habitats for aquatic life.

(4) Water Holes and Tanks:

In addition to the main rivers and streams, there are likely smaller water holes and tanks spread throughout the sanctuary. These water sources provide vital hydration for both the resident wildlife and the diverse plant species.

Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

The Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary is graced with a rich and varied array of plant life, a testament to its location within the diverse ecosystems of the Sahyadri hills. These ecosystems encompass dry deciduous, moist deciduous, and semi-evergreen forests, creating a thriving habitat for a wide range of plant species.

Key Plant Species:

Teak (Tectona grandis): A valuable timber tree that thrives in mixed forests and is recognized for its robust wood.

Sandalwood (Santalum album): Renowned for its fragrant heartwood, sandalwood is prized for its use in perfumes and traditional medicines.

Rosewood (Dalbergia sissoo): Notable for its fine timber, rosewood's presence enhances the forest's ecological tapestry.

Indian Laurel (Terminalia tomentosa): Also known as "Ain," this tree is a hallmark of dry deciduous forests.

Amla (Phyllanthus emblica): The Indian gooseberry, or amla, contributes its antioxidant-rich fruit to the sanctuary's biodiversity.

Lagerstroemia (Lagerstroemia lanceolata): The pride of India or jarul tree is bedecked with vibrant blossoms that grace the sanctuary.

Adina Cordifolia: This moist deciduous forest inhabitant is notable for its timber and ecological role.

Bamboos (Various Species): Bamboos form an essential part of the ecosystem, contributing to both ecological balance and human uses.

Ferns and Epiphytes: The sanctuary's lush vegetation likely includes various fern species and epiphytic plants, adding layers of diversity.

Grasses and Understory Plants: Grasses, ferns, and smaller plants form the understory, intricately weaving the ecosystem together.

Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

The Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary is a haven for a wide variety of animal species, ranging from the majestic to the elusive. This sanctuary's diverse ecosystems, including dry deciduous, moist deciduous, and semi-evergreen forests, create a mosaic of habitats that support an array of wildlife.


  • Tiger
  • Leopard
  • Wild Dog
  • Jackal
  • Gaur
  • Elephant
  • Sloth Bear
  • Sambar
  • Spotted Deer
  • Wild Boar
  • Common Langur
  • Bonnet Macaque
  • Common Mongoose
  • Striped-necked Mongoose
  • Porcupine
  • Malabar Giant Squirrel
  • Giant Flying Squirrel
  • Pangolin


  • Hornbills
  • Kingfishers
  • Bulbuls
  • Jungle Babbler


  • King Cobra 
  • Indian Rock Python 
  • Rat Snake 
  • Marsh Crocodile

Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. In which district is Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary?

A. The Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Shimoga (Shivamogga) district of Karnataka, India.

Q. What is the Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary famous for?

A. The Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary is renowned for:

(i) Biodiversity: The sanctuary's diverse ecosystems support a wide array of flora and fauna, making it a hotspot for biodiversity conservation.

(ii) Wildlife: It is famous for being home to various iconic and charismatic animal species, contributing to its ecological value.

(iii) Ecotourism: The sanctuary's attractions, such as the Tiger-Lion Safari and Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary, make it a popular destination for eco-conscious travelers and wildlife enthusiasts.

(iv) Conservation: The sanctuary plays a crucial role in conserving the unique ecosystems of the Sahyadri hills and protecting various species within its boundaries.

Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary

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