Sunday, July 17, 2016

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary

Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected Wildlife sanctuary in the Western Ghats of Karnataka state in India. It is named after the presiding deity "Lord Someshwara" of the famed Someshwara temple located within the sanctuary. The sanctuary lies in Udupi & Shivamogga districts of Karnataka, below Agumbe. The sanctuary houses Sitanadi nature camp run by Karnataka forest department. Udupi to Agumbe road passes through this wildlife sanctuary. The nearest town is Hebri which is connected by bus service to Udupi, Mangaluru and Bengaluru on a daily basis.

The sanctuary was established in 1974 with an area of 88.40 km2 (34.13 sq mi).It was subsequently expanded to 314.25 km2 (121.33 sq mi) in the year 2011 vide gazette notification. Post expansion the sanctuary spans across Udupi, Kundapur, Karkala, Thirthahalli taluks of Udupi and Shivamogga districts. The sanctuary was expanded by adding Balehalli Reserve Forest, Agumbe State Forest, Someshwar Reserved Forest and Tombatlu Reserved Forest areas, to the existing sanctuary. The expanded sanctuary forms a contiguous stretch of protected area that includes Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary, Sharavathi Wildlife Sanctuary and Kudremukh National Park.

The perennial Sitanadi river flows through the sanctuary.The Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary has tropical wet evergreen forests, west coast semi evergreen forests and southern secondary moist mixed deciduous forests in its ranges.

The sanctuary has fauna like tiger, leopard, dhole (wild dog), jackal, palm civet, jungle cat, Indian wild boar, Indian porcupine, sambar, spotted deer, muntjac (barking deer), mouse deer, gaur (Indian bison), Indian hare, lion tailed macaque, bonnet macaque, common langur, giant flying squirrel, king cobra, etc.

Great Indian hornbill, Malabar grey hornbill, Malabar trogon, Ceylon frogmouth, Malabar pied hornbill and Malabar whistling thrush are some of the birds found in the sanctuary. Otters and mahasheer fish are found in the Sitanadi river.[