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Anshi National Park
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Located in Uttara Kanada district, close to the Goa border, the Anshi National Park was formed in 1987 and occupies an area of 250 sq km. The park lies between longitudes 14o54'5.98"E to 15o7'21.61"E and latitudes 74o15'6.42"N to 74o29'30.1"N with an elevation ranging between 200-925 m above sea level and receiving an average rainfall of 4,700 mm. In January 2007, Anshi National Park was given the status of a Project Tiger Reserve. The Kaneri, Pavala Halla and Sakali Halla rivers flow through this park and perennial streams include Jaddi Hole, Katte Hala, Bende Halla and Vaki Hole. Despite the presence of many water sources and check dams, water scarcity during summer is a major problem (Lal et al. 1994).

The vegetation type in this region is mainly secondary semi-evergreen, secondary moist deciduous forests and montane rain forests. Common trees found here include economically important species like Tectona grandis, Bauhinia sp., Acacia sp., Grevillea robusta and Xylia xylocarpa. Species of bamboo are also found here in large numbers (Pascal et al. 1984).

The park has a rich diversity of wildlife. Spotted deer or chital (Axis axis), sambar (Cervus unicolor), barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak), mouse deer (Moschiola meminna), Asian elephants (Elephas maximus), Indian giant squirrels (Ratufa indica), red giant flying squirrels (Petaurista petaurista), grizzled giant squirrel (Ratufa macroura), common langurs (Semnopithecus entellus) and slender loris (Loris lyddekerianus) are reported from here. Other mammalian inhabitants include the Indian bison or gaur (Bos gaurus), bonnet macaque (Macaca radiata), wild pig (Sus scrofa), tiger (Panthera tigris), leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) and the jackal (Canis aureus). Others like Indian pangolin (Manis crassicaudata), Indian porcupine (Hystrix indica), grey mongoose (Herpestes edwardsi), wild dogs (Cuon alpinus), small Indian civet (Viverricula indica) and sloth bears (Melursus ursinus) are also found here (Shivanand et al. 2004).

As many as 89 species of birds have been sighted in this park. Among these are the Nilgiri wood-pigeon (Columba elphinstonii), a globally threatened and endemic bird, blue-bearded bee-eater (Nyctyornis athertoni), grey junglefowl (Gallus sonneratii), rufous-bellied hawk eagle (Hieraaetus kienerii), black eagle (Ictinaetus malayensis), crested hawk eagle (Spizaetus cirrhatus), small yellow-naped woodpecker (Picus chlorolophus chlorigaster) and common golden-backed woodpecker (Dinopoium javanense) (Shivanand et al. 2004). Bulbuls like the South Indian black bulbul (Hypsipetes ganeesa) and ruby-throated yellow bulbul (Pycnonotus gularis) have also been sighted here (Ali and Ripley 1987). Endemics found here are blue-winged parakeet (Psittacula columboides), Malabar grey hornbill (Ocyceros griseus) and white-bellied treepie (Dendrocygna leucogastra) to name a few. Fifteen species under Biome-10 (Indian Peninsula Tropical Moist Forest) are listed here that include the Ceylon frogmouth (Batrachostomus moniliger), Malabar trogon (Harpactes fasciatus) and Malabar whistlingthrush (Myiophonus horsfieldii) (Islam and Rahmani 2004).

Reptiles found here include the king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), Indian rock python (Python molurus), rat snakes (Ptyas mucosus), vipers and kraits.

The forests of Anshi, though protected, still face threats that have resulted in habitat loss and degradation. Dead timber and non-timber forest produce is extracted on a regular basis by the Forest Department. Colonisation by invasive species like Lantana camara, Eupatorium, Chromolena odorata and Parthenium sp. have also disturbed the biodiversity balance of the park (Shivanand et al. 2004, Lal et al. 1994). The Kaneri river has been polluted by toxic waste from the Kaiga Atomic Power Station and effluents from some factories. In addition quarrying, vehicular traffic on roads constructed within the park and power lines cause disturbances to the wild animals. Besides this, people from surrounding villages also depend on forest resources for their livelihood needs, which have led to significant degradation of wildlife habitats. Nearly 5.44 sq km of forest land have been allotted to the villagers who graze their cattle close to the hamlets. There are eight forest villages and 22 hamlets inside the park (Lal et al. 1994).

In April 2007, the Karnataka Forest Department announced plans to create the Dandeli Tiger Reserve by merging the 2,000 sq km area that covers Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, Anshi National Park (both in Karnataka) and Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary (Goa) (PA Update 2007).


Ali, S and Ripley, S.D. 1987. Compact handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan. (Second Edition), Oxford University Press, New Delhi, India.

Islam, M. Z and Rahmani, A. R. 2004. Important bird areas in India: Priority sites for conservation. Indian Bird Conservation Network: Bombay Natural History Society and Birdlife International, UK. 1133 pp.

Kazmierczak, K. 2000. A field guide to the birds of India, Sri Lanka, Pakistn, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and the Maldives. OM Book Service, New Delhi, India. 352 pp.

Lal, R., Kothari, A., Pande, P and Singh, S (eds).1994. Anshi National Park. In : Directory of national parks and sanctuaries in Karnataka: Management status and profiles. Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi, India. pp 28-40.

Menon, V. 2003. A field guide to Indian mammals. DK (India) Pvt Ltd and Penguin Book India (P) Ltd. 201 pp.

Pascal, J.P., Shyam Sundar, S and Meher-Homji, V.M. 1984. Forest map of South India: Belgaum-Dharwad. French Institute, Pondicherry, India.

PA Update. 2000. Projects threaten Anshi / Dandeli. January (23).

PA Update. 2007. New Tiger Reserve to include Dandeli WLS, Anshi NP and Mahaveer WLS in Goa. April (66):8.

Shivanand, T., Sondhi, S., Sondhi, A and Thakur, S. 2004. Anshi National Park. In: Important Bird Areas in India: Priority sites for conservation. (Islam, M. Z and Rahmani, A. R).Indian Bird Conservation Network: Bombay Natural History Society and Birdlife International, UK. pp 539-540.

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