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Wildlife of Karnataka


Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary 

Undulating streams, whispering bamboo, diverse wildlife, and innumerable trekking trails make Dandeli a dream destination. River Kali and its tributaries, Kaneri and Nagajhari, meander through the moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests. The Dandeli forests also play host to the graceful Virnoli Rapids, the magnificent Supa Dam, the sinister Syntheri Rocks, Nagajhari Viewpoint, the Kulgi Nature Education Camp, the Kavla Caves with their Shivling-like stalagmites, and Sykes Point which offers a stunning view of the Kalinadi Valley. Moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests. The area is also rich in bamboo. The elephant, gaur, tiger, panther, sambar, spotted deer, mouse deer, barking deer, sloth bear, wild boar, wild dog, mongoose, porcupine, jackal, and the common langur are some of the mammals found here. The popular birds of the place are the golden-backed woodpecker, crested serpent eagle, white breasted kingfisher, grey hornbill, great pied hornbill, and the Malabar pied hornbill. 

Gudavi Bird sanctuary 

This sanctuary in Sorab taluk of Shimoga district, comes alive in June as the energetic chirping of birds fills the air. The tree-lined banks of the Gudavi Lake become a brilliant mosaic of colours, with branches buried under bright plumage. The grey heron, night heron, little cormorant, jungle fowl, waterfowl, white-headed crane, pond heron, and the black-headed crane - you’ll find them all holidaying at Gudavi. Their symphony can be heard miles away. Surrounded by agricultural fields on the west and north, and by moist deciduous forest on the east and south, 191 species of flora and fauna have been identified.

 Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary

 This is one of the few bird sanctuaries in the Malnad region of the Karnataka. Mandagadde is surrounded by dense forest. A small island is formed by the flowing river Tunga and every year, three species of migratory birds take shelter on the leafless trees found here: the median egret, the little cormorant and the darter. During the peak season in August, the total number of birds in the sanctuary is estimated at 5000. A watchtower has been erected for viewing these winged visitors. Boating arrangements for closer viewing of the nesting birds have also been made by the Forest Department.

 Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary 

The sanctuary takes its name from the eponymous river, its lifeline. Popularly known as Muthodi Wildlife Sanctuary, after the village on its periphery, it is a great place to sight the ferocious tiger, observe the Indian bison, hear the strange calls of the striped hyena, and see the rare flying lizard glide amidst the huge trees. The southern part of the sanctuary is rich in birds, butterflies and reptiles. More than 250 species of bird life, many of which are endemic to the Western Ghats, are spotted here. Moist and dry deciduous forests with patches of shoal-grassland habitat are found at the higher altitudes.  The elephant, gaur, tiger, panther, sambar, spotted deer, mouse deer, barking deer, sloth bear, wild boar, wild dog, mongoose, porcupine, jackal, and the common langur are some of the mammals of this place. More than 250 birds have been identified. The ruby-throated bulbul, shama, Malabar whistling thrush, four species of hornbill, racquet-tailed drongo, and the paradise flycatcher are some of them.

 Kudremukh National Park 

Kudremukh, or Horse Face Range, gets its name from the unique shape of its peak. The broad hills, 95km south-west of Chikmagalur town, overlook the Arabian Sea and are chained to one another with deep valleys and steep precipices. As yet undiscovered by tourists, Kudremukh is a trekker’s paradise. Let the wonderland of lush green forests interspersed with rivers, grassy slopes, captivating cascades, rare orchids, caves, ruins, and traces of old civilizations amaze you as you trek your way through it. The Lakya Dam located near the Kudremukh project area is an interesting spot in the Kudremukh range. Ganga Moola is another scenic spot in the Bhagawathi Forest; you can reach it by trekking. Mostly evergreen and semi-evergreen forests with shoal–grassland habitat at elevations above 1400m. Mammals include the tiger, leopard, wild dog, jackal, lion-tailed macaque, common langur, sloth bear, gaur, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, Malabar giant squirrel, giant flying squirrel, porcupine, and the mongoose. The Malabar trogon, great pied hornbill, Malabar whistling thrush, and the imperial pigeon can be found.

 Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary

 Tucked away amidst mountains, valleys, a mighty river, jungle sounds, and lush greenery, the sanctuary is an idyllic getaway where anglers and nature enthusiasts can get a whiff of raw adventure and a view of the majestic Cauvery as it bounces over jagged rocks. Here, you can trek to the top of the hill to get a panoramic view of the Cauvery flowing through the picturesque valley below. You could also visit the ruins of the magnificent sculpted Shiva temple, a place of worship for the local Soliga tribes, raft down the rapids of the Cauvery, or even indulge in game fishing. It has riverine and dry deciduous forests with some patches of scrub forest. Mammals include the tiger, leopard, elephant, wild boar, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, four-horned antelope, Malabar giant squirrel, grizzled giant squirrel, common otter and the hare. The Sirkeer cuckoo, green-billed malkoha, white-browed bulbul, and the pigmy woodpecker are found here. The sanctuary is also famed for the endangered mahseer fish.

Nagarhole Rajiv Gandhi National Park

The Rajiv Gandhi National Park derives its name from the winding course of the river that flows through the forests Nagarhole has an astonishing abundance of wildlife, especially the Asiatic elephant. The backdrop of the distant misty blue Brahmagiri Mountains, the natural sounds of the jungle, the gurgling of streams and rivers, and the twittering of the birds make Nagarhole a memorable experience. Mammals include the elephant, tiger, leopard, wild dog, sambar, barking deer, sloth bear, wild boar, Indian bison, mouse deer, spotted deer, slender loris, black-naped hare, jackal, langur, wild pig, porcupine, Malabar squirrel, striped hyena and the four-horned antelope. Herons, storks, egrets, ducks, kites, eagles, falcons, partridges, peafowl, lapwings, sandpipers, woodpeckers, sunbirds, wagtails, warblers, babblers, shrikes and owls are some of the bird species found here.

Bandipur National Park

Nesting in the foothills of the Nilgiris, the Bandipur National Park was formed by extending the Venugopal Wildlife Park , set up in 1931 by the Mysore Maharajas. It is one of the tiger reserves in the country.

The flora in the forest comprises Teak, Rosewood, Honne, Mathi, Bamboo and Sandal Trees. The important animals in the park are Tiger, Elephant, Gaur, Leopard, Chital and Sambar. Birds like the Peafowl, Partridge, Quail, Hornbill and Ibis are also found here. Apart from these, Dhole(wild dog), Sambar, Muntjac or Barking Deer, Giant Squirrel and sometimes Sloth Bear and Nocturnal Porcupine and Blacknaped hare may be seen in the sanctuary. Well planned motorable roads close to the perennial and seasonal water points, and adequate open space in the jungle allow visitors to observe animals closely, particularly elephant herds, by car. Pug marks on soft earth in the permissible tourism zone attest to the presence of tigers, though they can be seen rarely.


Bannerghatta National Park

 The 25,000 acre park is home to panthers, lions, tigers and a large variety of birds. Indulge your sense of adventure with a lion and tiger safari. Wander through the Zoological Garden, with its canopy of shady and sturdy trees, find a quiet resting spot beside a pond and watch waterfowl frolic. The zoo boasts an amazing reptile collection; a snake park lets you get up close and personal with the scaly, slithery creatures. A children's corner provides an added attraction. Trekking enthusiasts will enjoy Uddigebande, a natural rock formation called Hajjamana Kallu and Mirza Hill. The beautiful Suvarnamukhi stream running through the park, originates in the Suvarnamukhi hills. These hills spread out to a huge rock, about a kilometre long. The Champaka Dharna Swamy temple built in the Dravidian style of the Hoysala age, lies at the foot of the rock. The temple enshrines an image of Vishnu with his consorts Sridevi and Bhudevi. The Suvarnamukhi hill also houses a small shrine dedicated to Narasimha, and two kms away is the Suvarnamukhi pond. The waters of this pond are believed to have curative powers.


 At Kokkrebellur, an entire village waits eagerly for the arrival of winged guests every year with whom villagers have developed a relationship of reverence. During October/November every year, the village turns home to migratory birds. Flocks of painted storks (ibis leucocephalus) and spot billed pelicans (pelecanus philippenis) descend on the hamlet to build their nests and rear their young. Large, shady trees of tamarind, peepal and portia bristle with colonies of birds. For the villagers, these winged visitors are welcome guests.

 Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary 

Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary, situated on the banks of the Cauvery River , includes of a group of six islets. The isolated islets and the abundance of aquatic insects during the monsoon make Ranganthittu a favorite abode for birds. Ranganthittu attained the status of a bird sanctuary in 1940, courtesy of the visions of India 's noted ornithologist-Dr. Salim Ali-who, during his survey of the birds of Mysore , advocated for the establishment of such a sanctuary. The sanctuary is now a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts, nature lovers and bird watchers. Some species of birds that have made Ranganthittu their home are spoonbills, open bill storks, darters, white Ibis, little cormorants, egret, heron, partridge, river tern, stone plougher, snake bird, and other exotic bird species that fly to the sanctuary in large flocks. 

Bilgiri Rangaswamy Temple (BRT) Wildlife Sanctuary

 Bilgiri Rangaswamy Temple wildlife sanctuary is unique in that it is situated at the junction of the Eastern and Western Ghats , and has flora and fauna from both regions. It is located in Chamarajnagar District. Altitude varies from about 750 to 1816m, the highest point being Kattari Betts in the southern part of sanctuary. Temperatures range from a cool 8°C to 36°C. The sanctuary has a great variety of vegetation ranging from dry scrub jungle to evergreen forests and high altitude shola grassland habitat. There is a good population of elephant in and around the sanctuary. Other mammals include tiger, leopard, wild dog, jungle cat, sloth bear, civets, mongooses, Malabar giant squirrel, giant flying squirrel, porcupine, common langur, bonnet macaque, wild pig, gaur, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, four horned antelope and even some black buck on the periphery of the sanctuary.



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