Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary Overview
Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary located in the Satara district of the Indian state of Maharashtra. The sanctuary is nestled in the Western Ghats, covering an area of around 42.652 km2 (16.468 sq mi) and elevations ranging from 600–1,100 m (2,000–3,600 ft), It was notified in 1985 as a wildlife sanctuary.
About Sahyadri Tiger Reserve
It forms the northern portion of the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve, with Chandoli National Park forming the southern part of the reserve. The Vasota Fort lies deep in the forests and is located at an elevation of 1,120 m (3,670 ft) above sea level. The legend states that the fort was constructed by Malwa king Raja Bhoja in 1170. The rivers Koyna, Kandati, and Solashi meander through the sanctuary.
Beautiful Shivsagar Reservoir in Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary
It also forms the catchment area for the Koyna River, and the Shivasagar reservoir formed by the Koyna Dam. To the south of the park lies the Chandoli National Park. The sanctuary includes eastern and western catchments of the Koyana dam. The Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary is in the tropical monsoon belt. Consequently, It receives excessive rainfall. Additionally, the thunderstorms also wreak havoc in the sanctuary. For this reason, the sanctuary remains emerald green throughout the year. The sanctuary is hot and dry during May. The animals then survive on the river water. The insect community and the other animals get a chance to revive themselves during monsoon.
Flora and Fauna of Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary
Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary has dense forests with three major sections, Vasota, Maharkhor, and Indavli Met, and the sanctuary is endowed with natural protective boundaries, with Shivasagar Lake on one side, and the slopes of the Western Ghats on both the sides.
These geographic barriers have enabled the emergence of a wide variety of flora and fauna and high biodiversity in the sanctuary. Dominant species are Anjani, Jambul, Hirda, Awala, Pisa, Ain, Kinjal, Amba, Kumbha, Bhoma, Chandala, Katak, Nana, Umbar, Jambha, Gela and Bibba. Karvi is found almost all over the area. Climbers such as Shikekai, Garambi are common.
The sanctuary has a diverse variety of mammals including the keystone species, Bengal tigers. Also, Indian leopards (14), Indian bison (220-250), sloth bears (70-80), sambar deer (160-175), barking deer (180-200) and mouse deer, common Gray langurs, Smooth-coated otters, and Indian Giant Squirrels are common.
Many species of birds are found in the sanctuary including the distinctive Heart-spotted Woodpecker, Rufous Woodpecker, and Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Long-tailed Nightjar and Crested Goshawk. The large reptiles, Indian pythons, and King cobras are found here.
A unique endemic frog Bufo koyanansis has its only habitat in this protected area. Altogether, Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary is the perfect getaway from the city life. It is the best place to visit with family. Do visit to enjoy a quiet vacation.