Sunday, September 3, 2023

Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary

Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC (Srivilliputhur Wildlife Sanctuary)

The Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary (GSWS), also known as Srivilliputhur Wildlife Sanctuary, is a protected area located in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It was established with the primary aim of conserving the grizzled giant squirrel (Ratufa macroura). 

The Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary is renowned for its lush greenery, rich biodiversity, and diverse ecosystems. Apart from being home to the grizzled giant squirrel, the sanctuary houses several other species of flora and fauna, including various species of birds, reptiles, and mammals.

The sanctuary is home to various plant species, including rare and endemic ones, making it an important site for plant conservation as well.

Table of Contents

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

Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary Location

The Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary is primarily located in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The sanctuary is primarily located in Virudhunagar district, especially in Srivilliputtur, and is partially located in Madurai district. 

The Andipatti hills border the sanctuary on the north, Tirunelveli District on the south, Srivilliputhur and Rajapalayam towns on the east, and Theni town and Theni District on the west. It is bordered on the southwest by the Periyar Tiger Reserve

The sanctuary also serves as the eastern boundary for the Periyar river watershed. 

Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to the Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary is Madurai Airport, also known as Madurai International Airport. It is located at a distance of approximately 70-80 kilometers from the sanctuary. Travelers can reach the sanctuary by road from the airport.

Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to the Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary is Srivilliputtur Railway Station. It is situated in the town of Srivilliputtur, which is in close proximity to the sanctuary. Travelers can use this railway station as a convenient point of arrival and then proceed to the sanctuary by road.

Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary History

The Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary has a history rooted in conservation efforts and the protection of its unique biodiversity. Here is an overview of the history of the sanctuary:

Establishment: In 1988, the sanctuary was established to protect the grizzled giant squirrel (Ratufa macroura). These squirrels are native to the Western Ghats region and are known for their striking appearance, with a grizzled coat and long, bushy tail. The sanctuary was created with the specific aim of conserving this species.

Conservation Efforts: Over the years, the sanctuary has been a focal point for conservation efforts. Conservationists and forest officials work together to protect the grizzled giant squirrel and its habitat. These efforts include anti-poaching measures, habitat restoration, and raising awareness about the importance of preserving the sanctuary.

Tourism and Research: The sanctuary also attracts tourists, researchers, and wildlife enthusiasts. Visitors have the opportunity to observe and study the unique wildlife and ecosystems found within the sanctuary. Guided treks and nature walks are often organized to educate the public about the sanctuary's significance.

Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary Area

The Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary covers an approximate area of 485 square kilometers

Within this 485 square kilometers, the sanctuary encompasses diverse ecosystems, including tropical evergreen forests, moist deciduous forests, grasslands, hills, and other natural landscapes. 

This diversity in habitat types contributes to the sanctuary's rich biodiversity and makes it an important conservation area within the Western Ghats region of India.

Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary Hills

The sanctuary is bounded by the Andipatti hills to the north. These hills are part of the Western Ghats and contribute to the sanctuary's scenic beauty and diverse landscapes.

Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary River

The Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in a region with several rivers and water bodies. However, there isn't a specific river that is typically associated with this sanctuary. The sanctuary's eastern boundary marks the eastern boundary for the Periyar River watershed.

The Periyar River is one of the prominent rivers in the Western Ghats region, and it flows through parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. While the sanctuary itself may not be directly adjacent to the river, the presence of the river in the broader region contributes to the overall ecosystem and hydrology of the area.

Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

The Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its diverse flora, thanks to its location within the Western Ghats, a region renowned for its rich biodiversity. Here are some of the prominent flora species that can be found in the sanctuary:

(1) Tropical Evergreen Forests:

These forests are characterized by their dense canopy and high species diversity. Some common tree species in these forests include rosewood, ebony, and various species of figs, dipterocarps, and laurels.

(2) Moist Deciduous Forests:

These forests shed their leaves during the dry season and are home to a variety of tree species such as teak, sal, Indian rosewood, and bamboo.

(3) Grasslands:

Grasslands and meadows are an essential part of the sanctuary's ecosystem. They provide grazing grounds for herbivores and are home to various grass species and wildflowers.

(4) Medicinal Plants:

The sanctuary also harbors various medicinal plants and herbs used in traditional medicine. These include species like the neem tree (Azadirachta indica) and the Indian gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica).

(5) Plant Species:

Here is a list of the plant species:

  • Ficus benghalensis (Banyan Tree)
  • Bombex ceiba (Silk Cotton Tree)
  • Litsea floribunda
  • Pithecellobium dulce (Manila Tamarind)
  • Terminalia arjuna
  • Mangifera indica (Mango)
  • Terminalia chebula (Chebulic Myrobalan)
  • Phyllanthus emblica (Indian Gooseberry or Amla)
  • Tamarindus indica (Tamarind)

Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

The Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse range of fauna, including various mammals, birds, reptiles, and other wildlife species. Here is a list of some of the notable fauna found in the sanctuary:


  • Grizzled Giant Squirrel
  • Tree Shrew
  • Elephant
  • Leopard
  • Lion-tailed Macaque
  • Nilgiri Tahr
  • Mouse Deer


  • Malabar Trogon
  • Honey Buzzard
  • Lorikeet
  • Grey Junglefowl


  • Common Indian Monitor Lizard
  • Rat Snake
  • Spectacled Cobra
  • Forest Calotes

Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. The Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary is located in which state?/In which state is Gsws located?

A. The Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary (GSWS) is located in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

Q. Which animal is the Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary famous for?/What is Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for?

A. The Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary (GSWS), located in Tamil Nadu, India, is primarily famous for its conservation efforts related to the Grizzled Giant Squirrel (Ratufa macroura). This sanctuary was established with the primary aim of conserving and protecting this unique and visually striking squirrel species. 

The Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary is known for being a critical habitat for these giant squirrels, which are characterized by their grizzled appearance and long, bushy tails. Visitors come to the sanctuary to observe and appreciate these beautiful creatures and to support conservation efforts aimed at preserving their population and their natural habitat within the Western Ghats region.

Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary

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