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Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve
Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve is located in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, bordering the state of Karnataka. It was declared a tiger reserve in 2013 and covers an area of 1,411 square kilometers. The reserve is situated at the confluence of the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats, making it a unique ecological zone.
Historically, the Sathyamangalam forest was known for its dense forests and rich biodiversity, but it was also a hub for illegal wildlife trade and poaching. In recent years, concerted efforts have been made to curb these activities and protect the wildlife of the region. As a result, the tiger population in the reserve has been steadily increasing, with the latest 2022 data indicating the presence of at least 80 tigers in the reserve.
Read about: Tiger Reserves in India
Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve Landscape
Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve is situated at the confluence of the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats, which are two major mountain ranges in India. The reserve is characterized by hilly terrain, with the highest peak being the Kattari Betta which stands at an elevation of 1,800 meters above sea level.
The Sathyamangalam forest is crisscrossed by several streams and rivers, including the Moyar River, which is an important tributary of the Cauvery River. The river plays a crucial role in sustaining the biodiversity of the region, providing water to the flora and fauna of the reserve. There are several waterfalls in the region, including the Koodathaaru, Gombai, and Hogenakkal Falls.
The reserve is also home to several small caves, which are believed to have been inhabited by prehistoric humans. These caves contain several rock paintings and engravings that provide insight into the history and culture of the region.
Read about: Panna Tiger Reserve
Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve Map
Here is a map of the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve given below for a better understanding:
Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve Fauna
The following table presents a tabulated description of the diverse range of fauna found in the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve.
|Fauna Category||Important Species||General Description|
|Mammals||Bengal Tiger, Indian Elephant, Indian Leopard, Dhole, Sloth Bear, Gaur||The reserve is known for its high population of tigers, as well as its significant population of Indian Elephants. It is also home to several other large mammals, including Indian Leopards, Dholes, Sloth Bears, and Gaurs.|
|Birds||Indian Eagle-Owl, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Crested Serpent Eagle, Indian Peafowl, Grey Junglefowl||The reserve is home to over 200 species of birds, including several endemic species such as the Malabar Grey Hornbill. It is also a popular destination for birdwatchers.|
|Reptiles||Mugger Crocodile, Indian Rock Python, King Cobra, Russell’s Viper, Indian Chameleon||The reserve is home to several species of reptiles, including the Mugger Crocodile, Indian Rock Python, King Cobra, Russell’s Viper, and Indian Chameleon.|
|Amphibians||Indian Bullfrog, Common Indian Toad, Bicolored Frog, Paddy Frog, Wrinkled Frog||The reserve is home to over 50 species of amphibians, including the Indian Bullfrog, Common Indian Toad, Bicolored Frog, Paddy Frog, and Wrinkled Frog.|
|Invertebrates||Atlas Moth, Indian Golden Silk Spider, Indian Stick Insect, Giant Wood Spider, Praying Mantis||The reserve is home to several species of invertebrates, including the Atlas Moth, Indian Golden Silk Spider, Indian Stick Insect, Giant Wood Spider, and Praying Mantis.|
Read about: Anamalai Tiger Reserve
Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve Flora
Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve is home to a variety of forests, ranging from dry deciduous to tropical evergreen forests. The reserve consists of three main forest types: mixed deciduous forests, southern tropical dry thorn forests, and southern tropical moist deciduous forests. These forests provide a diverse habitat for the wildlife in the reserve and are an important part of the local ecosystem.
Here is a description of the different floral categories of the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve:
|Flora Category||Important Species||General Description of Flora Category|
|Trees||Sandalwood, Teak||The reserve is dominated by dry deciduous trees, with sandalwood and teak being the most prominent species. Other tree species include the Indian kino tree, Indian gooseberry, black cutch, and the flame of the forest.|
|Shrubs||Lantana, Grewia||The shrubs in the reserve are primarily thorny and often provide shelter for small mammals and birds. Common shrubs found here include Lantana, Grewia, and Helicteres.|
|Grasses||Spear Grass, Kans||The reserve has a variety of grass species, ranging from tall elephant grass to short spear grass. Some of the commonly found grasses include Kans, Apluda, Eragrostis, and Themeda.|
|Climbers||Velvet Bean, Tinospora||The climbers or creepers found in the reserve include Velvet Bean, Tinospora, and Pueraria. They often form thickets and provide food and shelter to small mammals and birds.|
|Herbs||Ipomoea, Commelina||The reserve has a variety of herbaceous plants, including Ipomoea, Commelina, and Vernonia. These plants often bloom in the monsoon season and provide food for herbivores.|
Read about: Bandipur Tiger Reserve
Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve Tourism
Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve is a popular tourist destination in Tamil Nadu and is known for its rich biodiversity and unique wildlife. The best time to visit the reserve is between October and March, when the weather is pleasant and the animals are more active. To reach Sathyamangalam, tourists can take a flight to Bangalore or Coimbatore, and then travel by road to the reserve. The nearest railway station is located in Erode, which is well-connected to major cities in India.
Tourists can enjoy a range of experiences in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, including wildlife safaris, bird watching, and nature walks. The reserve is home to several species of animals, including tigers, elephants, leopards, wild dogs, and sloth bears, among others. The reserve also has a rich birdlife with over 200 species of birds found here.
Tourists can also visit nearby tourist places like the Bannari Amman Temple, the Bhavani Sagar Dam, and the Mettur Dam, among others. The reserve also offers a unique cultural experience, with several tribal villages located in and around the reserve. Tourists can interact with the tribal communities and learn about their way of life and culture.
Read about: Nagarhole Tiger Reserve
Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve UPSC
Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve is an important topic of the UPSC Syllabus, particularly in the subject of Environment and Ecology. Aspirants are expected to have a good understanding of the park’s history, geography, flora, and fauna, as well as its conservation efforts and eco-tourism activities.
UPSC aspirants can explore various sources for effective exam preparation, such as NCERT textbooks, standard reference books on Environment and Ecology, and online resources like StudyIQ UPSC. Additionally, taking UPSC Mock Test for Prelims 2023 can help aspirants evaluate their preparation level and identify areas where they need to improve.