Geography of Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary
Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary comprises rocky landscape. The altitude of the sanctuary ranges from 880 to 1127 metres. The highest point of the sanctuary, called Gavikallu Betta or Karikallu gudda, is located at the southern part. In addition to this, other peaks of the sanctuary include Narayana Durga (1094 m) and Mudi Betta (1065 metres). Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary has an abundance of water bodies which numbers to about two dozens. The average temperature of the sanctuary varies from 17 to 38 degrees Celsius whereas the annual rainfall has been recorded to be 621 mm.
Flora of Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary
Scrub and tropical dry deciduous vegetation are dominant in the sanctuary. Cycas circinalis which is presently known as C. swamyi after the renowned botanist Prof BGL Swamy, son of Kannada laureate DV Gundappa, was previously found abundantly in the sanctuary. However currently it has turned to be an endangered gymnosperm owing to its overuse by local village doctors and flower decorators. Around Narayana Durga hillock plenty of Shorea roxburghii can be spotted. Other significant species found here are Memecylon spp, Santalum album, Anogeissus latifolia, Chloroxylon swietenia and Terminalia chebula.
Fauna of Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary
The biodiversity of the sanctuary is quite rich. It hosts a number of rare species such as Ultramarine Flycatcher (migratory bird), Brown Rock Pipit (resident bird), Bamboo Pit Viper (snake), Southern Rustic (butterfly) and others. Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary has a great assemblage of about 110 butterflies. Southern Rustic butterfly is a unique member of this group which has been found here away from its known habitat. Monkey Puzzle is found quite abundantly here. Danaid butterflies, during their migration period, can be spotted in dense shrubs near wet patches and valleys. Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary also shelters an astounding population of about 199 species of birds including Yellow-throated Bulbul, Long billed Vulture, Changeable Hawk-Eagle, Oriental White-backed Vulture and many others. It has been declared as a significant bird area. The resident birds of the sanctuary include Sirkeer Cuckoo while the migratory ones include Eurasian Blackbird, Indian Blue Robin and others. The water bodies in the sanctuary are known to excellently support the resident as well as migratory birds.
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