Geography of Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary
Spanning over an area of 1411.6 square kilometres it is accredited as the largest wildlife sanctuary of the state. The region receives an average rainfall of 824 millimetres. The temperature of the place varies from 21 to 33 degree Celsius. The core zone of the sanctuary comprises 917.27 square kilometres.
Flora of Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary
Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary is mainly dominated by tropical dry forest and forms a part of the South Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests ecoregion. Apart from these the five distinct types of forest which can be spotted here include thorn forests, dry deciduous, mixed-deciduous, semi-evergreen and tropical evergreen (Shola). Evergreen forests can be found in small patches, mostly in the high altitude hill tops of Sathyamamgalam which ranges from 750 to 1649 metres in height. Regions of high altitude are rich in semi evergreen forest whereas mixed and dry deciduous forests grow on middle altitude slopes. In the foot hills and middle elevations, thorn forests are found. Major population of herbivores are supported by mixed shrubland and grassland.
Fauna of Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary
Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary serves as an important link between the Eastern Ghats and Western Ghats which allows the gene flow between the faunal populations of the two regions. It shelters about 28 Tigers and 850 Indian Elephants for which it is known to be the largest elephant habitat of the country. Royal Bengal Tigers, Gaur, Striped Hyenas, Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, Four-Horned Antelope, Barking Deer, Sambar Deer, Black buck, Spotted Deer and many more wild animals have been recorded here. About 230 avian species dwell here including Crows, Mynahs, Babblers, Bulbuls etc. The place has been noted to be a significant one for the Vultures of south India.
Tribes in Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary
Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary is also inhabited by indigenous tribal population which mostly belong to Soliga communities and Irula tribe. 12 revenue settlements and 7 forest settlements have been identified here. The forest was also known to be the abode of legendary Indian bandit leader Koose Muniswamy Veerapan who extensively practiced poaching of ivory and sandalwood of the forest.
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