Major wildlife sanctuaries and reserves of Maharashtra

Anerdam Wildlife Sanctury: Shirpur Tehsil Of Dhule District - Maharashtra

The sanctuary is situated on southwestern range of Satpura range in Shirpur Tehsil of Dhule District. It shares boundaries with Yawal sanctuary other sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh.

Fauna: The sanctuary was once very rich in wildlife, now it is trying to regain its previous status. Common animals found in this area are Barking Deer's, Chikaras, Hares, Porcupines and Jungle Cats. Monitor Lizard is the common reptile in this sanctuary. Among the migrant animals one can find over here are Hyenas, Jackals, Wolves and Wild boars. Common resident birds include Peafs, Qualis, Partridges, Egrets, Herons, Cormorants, Corts, Spot Bills, Eagle Hamers, and Owls etc. One can also see variety of birds, which migrate, to this area. Significant among them are Brahming Ducks, Cranes, Stokes and many Waders.


Bhamragarh Wildlife Sanctury: Chandra District - Maharashtra

This sanctuary is located in Chandrapur district in the Vidharba region of Maharashtra. Majority of the area is under thick forest that is woodland, with small patches of grass lands distributed over the entire protected area. One can even find wetlands in the protected area. Notable among them are Pamalgautam and Parlkota rivers, which runs through the protected area.

Fauna: Bhamragarh Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its variety of wild animals. The endangered animals in this area are Leopard, Jungle Fowl, Wild Boar, and Sloth Bear. Tourists can also find other animals like Barking Deer's, Blue Bulls, Hare, Mongoose, Peacock, and Flying Squirrel.


Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctury: Western Ghats Of Maharashtra

The sanctuary is located in the northern part of the Western Ghats. It is spread over the three districts Pune, Thane and Raigad. There is a shrine in the forest with the Jyotirlinga, temple of Lord Shiva. Two major tributaries of river Krishna namely Bhima and Ghod originate from this area. The valley is a splendid combination of plant and animal life.

Fauna: The area is rich in fauna since there is variety of forest types in the sanctuary. The wild life found here includes Leopards, Barking Deer, Sambar, Wild Boar, Langur, and Hyena. Among the birds one will be able to find Malabar Grey Hornbill, Quaker Babbler, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Green Pigeon, Black Eagle, Grey Jungle Fowl and many, many more. One might get to see the great butterfly brigade and Malabar Giant Squirrel, one of the largest of tree squirrels found over here, well over three feet long.


Bor Wildlife Sanctury: Hingni in Wardha - Maharashtra

Bor Wildlife sanctuary is located in Hingni in Wardha of Vidarbha region. This area includes 3,237 hectares of Reserve Forest, 2,213 hectares of Protected Forest, and 660 hectares of Unclassed Forest. Many villages surround the sanctuary. Wild animals found in this sanctuary are Tigers, Panthers, Bisons, Blue Bulls, Chitals, Sambars, Peacocks, Barking Deers, Chinkara, Monkeys, Wild Boars, Bears and Wild Dogs


Chaprala Wildlife Sanctury: Chandrapur District - Maharashtra

This sanctuary is located in Chandrapur district in the Vidharba region of Maharashtra. Majority of the area is under thick forest that is wood land, with small patches of grass lands distributed over the entire protected area. Chaprala Wildlife Sanctuary is a home of variety of wild animals. Out of 23 species of mammals recorded in this area, there are 4 species of mammals, which are of endangered status, namely Tiger, Leopard, Jungle cat, Sloth Bear, and Wild dog. There are 131 species of avifauna recorded in the Protected Area of which as many as three bird species are of endangered status. There are 2 species of reptiles, which are of endangered status namely Indian Python, and Common Indian Monitor. Others include Black Buck, Wild Boar, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Barking Deer, Blue Bull, Common Langoor, Harep, Jackal, Mungoose, Peacock, Jungle Fowl, and Flying Squirrel.


Chikhaladara Wildlife Sanctury: Vidarbha Region - Maharashtra

Chikhaldara Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Amravati district of Vidarbha region. The only hill station in the Vidarbha region offers one an abundance of wildlife, viewpoints, lakes and waterfalls. This sanctuary is named after "Keechaka". This is the place where Bhima killed Keechaka and threw him into the valley. It thus came to be known as "Keechakadara" and Chikhaldara is its corruption. This is the only coffee growing area in Maharashtra. Tourists can find Panthers, Sloth Bears, Sambar, and Wild Boar. One can even spot Wild Dogs over here. Close by is the famous Melghat Tiger Project in Dhakana-Kolkaz National Park, a natural habitat centre for about 82 tigers.


Dajipur Bison Sanctury: Border of Kolhapur District - Maharashtra

The Dajipur Bison Sanctuary is situated on the border of Kolhapur and Sindhudurg districts near the backwaters of the Radhanagari dam. Rugged mountains and thick forests abundant in wildlife surround this jungle resort. The sanctuary is completely cut-off from human habitat. Tourists can find Bison, Wild Deer, Chital, Gawa, etc. Apart from these one can spot other spectacular wild animals and birds over here too.


Melghat Tiger Reserve : Amaravati District - Maharashtra

Melghat Tiger Reserve is located in Chikhaldara and Dharni tehsils of Amaravati district in Satpura hill range. This is one of the last remaining habitats of Indian tiger in Maharashtra. The Melghat Tiger Reserve was constituted in 1974 and the Directorate of Project Tiger, Melghat started functioning from 22nd Feb 1974. In view of the ecological, floral and faunal significance of the region, on 5th Sep 1975, the Melghat Tiger Reserve was designated a sanctuary.

Fauna: The area is rich in wild mammals including Tiger, Panther, Sloth Bear, Wild Dog, Jackal, Hyena, Chausinga, Sambar (largest Deer on earth) Gaur, Barking Deer, Ratel, Flying squirrel, Cheetal (type of Deer), Nilgai, Wild Boar, Langur, Rhesus Monkey, and Macaque.


Jayakwadi Bird Sanctuary: Aurangabad District - Maharashtra

Jayakwadi Bird Sanctuary is situated in Aurngabad and Ahamadnagar district in Marathawara region. The presence of the Nathsagar Lake in the sanctuary, make the surrounding areas rich in aquatic flora and fauna.

Fauna: It has attracted many species of resident and migratory birds. Nearly 200 species of birds are in this area, which includes more than 70 species of migratory birds out of which 45 major species are of international migration. Notable amongst migratory birds are Cranes, Flamingos, Brahmany Duck, Pochards Teals, Pintails, Wigeon, Shovellar, God Wit, Shauces, Glossy Ibis, etc. It is a habitat for resting of local resident birds.


Jijamata Udyan Zoo: Byculla District - Maharashtra

Rani Jijamata Udyan Victoria Gardens, laid out in 1861 houses the Mumbai's Zoo. It houses many of the rare and endangered species of animals and birds. The gardens are spread over 48 acres in Byculla, on the central side of Mumbai, surrounded by low income housing colonies or 'Chawls'. At the main entrance to the gardens is a clock tower, reminiscent of Italian renaissance, but the clock has stopped ticking a long time ago. The gardens boast of scores of trees, some of which are really old. Within the gardens is the Albert museum that houses a host of local archaeological finds among which merits a huge stone elephant at the entrance, which was found in 1864 at Gharapuri Island.


Kalasubai Harischandragad Wildlife Sanctury: Ahmednagar District - Maharashtra

The sanctuary area spreads from Kalasubai to Harischandragad in Akole Tehsil of Ahmadnagar district. The area is part of Sahyadri hill ranges. The Kalsubai sanctuary is challenge to trekkers as it is most rugged, hilly area and difficult to get accessibility. Kalasubai is the highest (1646 m) peak of Western Ghats in the Maharashtra State.

Fauna: Tourists can find wide variety of mammals, reptiles and birds. The mammals found here are Leopard, Jungle cat, Palm civet, Mongoose, Hyena, Wolf, Jackal, Fox, Wild Boar, Barking Deer, Sambar, Hare, and Bats etc. The most attractive animals are Indian Giant Squirrel and Porcupine. The reptiles found in this sanctuary are Monitor Lizard, Fan-Throated Lizard, Turtles and many species of snakes. Among the birds are the common hill and grass land birds. One can also spot water birds such as White Necked Storks, Black Ibis, Herons, Egrets, Cormorants, Water hen's, etc


Karnala Bird Sanctuary: Panvel Taluka of Raigad District - Maharashtra

Karnala Bird Sanctuary is situated in Panvel Taluka of Raigad District of Konkan Region. This sanctuary is located at the bottom of the Karnala fort, which lies between Pen and Panvel. The sanctuary is around 25m high from the sea level, while the fort itself is 370 m from the sea level.

Fauna: Rich with natural habitats the sanctuary abounds in bird life with various kinds of resident and migrant birds. One can find around 150 species of birds of resident and 37 species of migratory birds that visit the sanctuary during winters. It has two distinct seasons for bird watching. In the monsoon season one can watch Paradise Flycatcher, Shama or Magpie, Robin, and the Malabar Whistling Thrush, which are some of the most melodious avian songsters.A variety other birds Racket-Tailed Drongo, Red Vented Bulbul, Horn Bill, Myna, Owl, Ashy Rain War Blur, and two rare birds Ashy Minimet and Spotted heart Woodpeckers have been sighted here.


Katepurna Sanctury: Akola District - Maharashtra

The sanctuary is located in Akola district in Vidarbha region. It is in proximity of Akola and is mostly the catchment area of Katepurna reservoir. This reservoir mostly attracts water birds. The sanctuary is famous for Four-horned Antelope and Barking Deer. Other animals are Black Buck, Wolf, Leopard, Hyena, Wild Boar, Nilgai, Hare, Jungle Cat, Monkey, etc. Many species of common grassland and wetland birds are seen. Peafowl is the common bird spotted by tourist. The Katepurna water reservoir attracts migratory birds.


Koyna Wildlife Sanctury: Satara District - Maharashtra

Sanctuary is located in Satara District in Western Maharashtra . Koyana wildlife sanctuary includes Eastern and Western catchments of Koyana dam. This dam is a major hydroelectric project centre in the Western Maharashtra. The sanctuary is well protected by the large extent of Shivasagar reservoir and steep Slopes of Western Ghats on both the sides. A vegetal cover corridor of Chandoli connects this protected area. It is bounded by Radhanagari wildlife sanctuary in south.

Fauna: Animals found in this sanctuary are Tigers, Panthers, Gaurs, Sloth Bears, Sambars, Barking Deers, Mouse Deers, Dholes, Gaint Squirrels, Otters, Common Langoors, Pythons, and Cobras. Among the birds are Heart Spotted, Rufous and Brown Capped Woodpeckers, Goshawk, Long Tailed Nightjar and Fairy Bluebird. These are found very rarely in other parts of Western Ghats.


Malvan Marine Sanctuary - Maharashtra

Malvan, the only marine sanctuary in Maharashtra is located in Malvan Taluka of Sindhudurg district in Konkan region. The sanctuary is rich in coral and marine life. The golden sands and casuarinas plantations at the Malvan coast form a scenic view and it's a feast to eyes.


Nagzira Wildlife Sanctury: Tirora Range Of Bhandara Forest - Maharashtra

Nagzira Wildlife sanctuary lies in Tirora Range of Bhandara Forest Division, in Bhandara district of Vidarbha region. The sanctuary is enclosed in the arms of the nature and adorned with exquisite landscape. The sanctuary consists of a range of hills with small lakes within its boundary. These lakes not only guarantee a source of water to wildlife throughout the year, but also greatly heighten the beauty of the landscape.

Fauna: The forests provide ideal conditions of harborage to a variety of birds and animals. The animals commonly spotted are Tigers, Panthers, Leopards, Bison's, Sloth Bears, Sambar, Four-Headed Antelope, Blue Bull, Chital, Barking Deers, Mouse Deers, Civet Cats, Jackals, Jungle Cats, Spotted Hyena, and Hare. Among the birds that are prominent and commonly seen are Peafowl, the Grey Jungle Fowl and the Red Spur Fowl. The habitats of sanctuary include 34 species of mammals, 166 species of birds, 36 species of reptiles, 4 species of amphibia, and number of fishes. The invertebrate fauna includes, besides a number of insects and ant species, 49 species of butterflies.


Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird sanctuary - Maharashtra

Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary is located in Niphad Tehsil of Nashik district in Western Maharashtra. A stone pick up weir was constructed in 1907-13 across the river Godavari just below the confluence of Kodwa and Goadavari rivers at Nandur Madhameshwar. The water level is always fluctuating in Nandur Madhameshwar Lake. The water released from Gangapur and Darana water reservoirs is stored at Nandur Madhameshwar and subsequently released from here through canals for irrigation. Silts and organic matter that are carried away with water flow are accumulated in the lake, due to which islands and shallow water ponds have been created. This resulted in the biological enriched conditions by which aquatic vegetation has been stabilised. Thus the site has turned into good wetland habitat aptly described as 'Bharatpur of Maharashtra".

Fauna: Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary is a harbour for thousands of beautiful and migratory birds. There are more than 230 species of birds, out of which 80 are migratory species. The migratory birds found in this sanctuary are White Stork, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbills, Flamigo, Goose Brahminy Duck, Pintails, Mallard, Wigeon, Gargenery Shoveller, Pochardds, Cranes Shanks, Curlews, Pratincole Wagtails, Godwits, Weavers, etc. The resident birds include Black Ibis, Spot Bills, Teals, Little Grabe, Cormorants, Egrets, Herons, Stork, Kites, Vultures, Buzzards, Harriers, Osprey, Quails, Patridges, Eagles, Water Hens, Sand Pipe, Swifts, Grey hornbill, Peafowl, etc


Navegaon National Park: Navegoan, Gondia - Maharashtra

The Navegaon National Park located in Navegoan, Gondia is one of the most popular forest resorts in the Vidarbha region. A picturesque lake with crystal clear water, stretching over an area of 11 sq. kms is set in the midst of hill ranges and can be approached through a series of winding trails. Strategically located, watch towers enable the visitor to Navegaon to catch a glimpse of the region's varied wildlife. It consists of a deer park, an aviary and three beautifully landscaped gardens. Though Navegaon is better known as a bird sanctuary, a number of wild animals could also be sighted. Tigers, Panthers, Bisons, Sambars, Nilgais, Chitals, Wild boars, Sloth Bears, and Wild Dogs are main wild life species in this national park.


Pench National Park (Project Tiger Reserve) - Maharashtra

The Pench National Park on the border of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra has been known through the ages for its rich flora and fauna. Named after the river that flows nearby, Pench was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1983, though it had been declared a notified area in 1972. This park is the 25th Tiger Reserve in the country and takes pride in its tigers and other wildlife. The total area under the Pench Tiger Reserve comes to about 758-km, out of which a core area of 299-sq-km is the National Park and 464-km the buffer area. In summer the river retains water in pools strewn along its bed, locally known as 'Doh'. To the east lies Golia Pahar about 670m above the main sea level, which is the highest hill in Nagpur district.

Fauna :The common animals in this sanctuary are Common Langur, Jackal, Wild dog, Sloth bear, Indian Grey Mongoose, Striped Hyaena, Tiger, Leopard, Jungle cat, Wild Boar, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Barking Deer, Indian Bison, Nilgai, Chausinga, Large Brown Flying Squirrel, Porcupine and Pangolin.


Peshwe Udyan: Pune - Maharashtra

The Peshwe Udyan Zoo is located next to Saras Baug in Pune. It is maintained by the Pune Municipal Corporation and houses a variety of species of wild animals. When the Talayatala Ganpati temple was established the sand, which came out while digging the lake, was put aside it. The Peshwas planted trees in this place. When Pune Municipal Corporation came into existence it built a garden and a Zoo in this place and gave it the name Peshwe Udyan. In this zoo there are all animals, from birds to big animals like elephant. For children this zoo is another venue for fun and learning. It has toy-train ride a very special attraction for kids, a beautiful lake with boating facilities, animal rides and a Play Park.


Phansad Wildlife Sanctury: Raigad District - Maharashtra

The Phasand wildlife sanctuary is located in Murud and Roha Talukas of Raigad district in Konkan region. The sanctuary represents a Coastal Woodland Ecosystem of Western Ghats, which makes the habitat very rich and offers highly peaceful atmosphere to the visitors. The wild animals found in this sanctuary are Panther, Sambhar, Wild boar, Barking deer, Hyena etc.


Radhanagri Wildlife Sanctuary - Dajipur: Kolhapur District - Maharashtra

Radhanagari wildlife sanctuary is located in the between the areas of the major reservoirs viz. "Shahu Sagar"and "Laxmi sagar" in Kolhapur district. The entire protected area is undulating with steep escarpments. The soil is reddish and lateritic. High percentage of bauxite ore is found in Plateaus or "Sadas".

Fauna : It is well known for Bison (500), which is the tallest and the most splendid of living Wild Oxen. Tourists can spot bull and calf running with its mother or a large herd grazing in the jungles, which is a treat to the eyes and one can recall with delight years later. Other animals, sheltered in the sanctuary are Leopard, Sloth bear, Wild Boar, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Sambar, Giant Squirrel, Wild Dogs, counted among some of the major animals found in the protected area.


Sagareshwar Sanctuary - Maharashtra

Sagareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary is at trifurcation of three Tehsils namely Khanapur, Walva and Palus Tehsils of Sangli district. The significance of this sanctuary is that it is a man made sanctuary. Sagareshwar is an artificially cultivated forest without perennial supply of water and in which most of the wildlife species are artificially introduced. The status of the area progressively upgraded. It was first brought under the category of park, then Sagaroba game reserve in 1980 and thereafter, in 1985, it became Sagareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary when approximately 52 animals were set free in the area.

Fauna : Major animals found in this sanctuary are Sambar, Blackbucks, Wild Boar, Barking Deer, Peacocks, Cheetal, etc. There are no major carnivorous species like tiger and panther in the Sanctuary. However, small carnivores like Hyena, Fox and Porcupines are found in the protected area. Quite a large number of insects, birds and reptiles are also found in the sanctuary.


Tadoba National Park: Near Chandrapur - Maharashtra

The oldest National Park in the state of Maharashtra, it is also a Project Tiger reserve, since 1993. The rich deciduous forest mainly consists of teak trees, The area around Tadoba was once highly populated by the Gond tribals. It derives its name from their local deity 'Taru', who, according to a legend, was killed in an epic fight with a tiger. He is still worshipped by the local villagers as the deity of 'Tadoba'. A haven for wildlife enthusiasts, Tadoba is also referred to as 'The Jewel of Vidarbha'.

Fauna :Although the major attraction is the Tiger, large herds of Chital, the stately Sambar, the elusive Barking Deer, the fleet footed Chausinga, the majestic Gaur, the robust Nilgai, the shy Sloth Bear, the whistling Wild Dogs, the omnipresent Wild Boar, and the stealthy Leopard make lasting impressions on the visitors to this Reserve. As the night falls the Small Indian Civet, the Palm Civet, the Ratel, the Flying squirrel make their presence felt. The lake attracts many water birds like Cattle Egrets, Purple Moorhens and Jacanas. It also has marsh crocodiles at the breeding farm.


Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary - Maharashtra

Tansa wildlife sanctuary is located in Wada, Shahapur and Mokhada Talukas of Thane district. The wildlife sanctuary at Tansa comprises the catchment area of Tansa Lake and the surrounding forests of Shahapur, Khardi, Vaitarna and East Wada Ranges in Shahapur Tehsil of Thana district. Tansa Lake is a perennial source of water to wild life in the sanctuary.  This Wildlife Sanctuary hosts a wide range of species. There are around 50 species of animals and about 200 bird species in this area. Major wild animals are Panther, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Hyena, Wild boar, Leopard, Jackal, Four-Horned Antelope, Chital, Sambar, Hare, Common Langur, etc.


The Sanjay Gandhi National Park: Borivali, Mumbai - Maharashtra

One can have encounters with several species including Spotted Deer, Black Naped Hare, Barking Deer, Porcupine, Palm Civet, Mouse Deer, Rhesus Macaque, Bounet Macaque, Hanuman Langur, Indian Flying Fox, and Sambhar. The reptilian world has 38 species to show off. Tourists can see crocodiles in the Tulsi Lake, and Pythons, Cobras, Monitor Lizards, Russell's viper, Bamboo Pit Viper and Ceylonese Cat Snake here.


Tipeshwar Sanctuary: Pandarkawada Tehsil Of Yavatmal District Maharashtra

Tipeshwar wild life sanctuary is located in Pandarkawada Tehsil of Yavatmal district of Vidarbha region covering an area of 148.63-sq-km. Many villages surround the sanctuary and due to this there is a tremendous pressure on sanctuary resources for timber, firewood, and bamboo. The major animals that are found here are Hyena, Black Buck, Blue Bull, Chital, Sambar, Peacock, Hare, Snake, Monkey, Wild boar, Bear, Wild cat, Wolf, Jackal, etc.


Wan Sanctuary: Amaravati District - Maharashtra

Wan sanctuary is located in Melghat area of Amravati District. It is an extension to the Melghat Sanctuary on southeastern part. This area is part and parcel of Melghat and is rich in floral and fauna biodiversity. The hilly rugged terrain possesses Tropical Dry Deciduous forests. The sanctuary is rich in Tigers, Leopards, Hyena, Wild Dogs, Bison, Sambar, Barking Deer, Wild boar are major herbivorous species.


Yawal Sanctury: Jalgaon District - Maharashtra

Yawal sanctuary is located in Yawal Tehsil of Jalgaon district along river Anner and Manjal towards north at the border of Madhya Pradesh. One can find excellent wild life habitat in western Satpuda hill ranges, which is very much similar to the habitat found in Melghat tiger reserve. Mostly found species in the reserve are Tiger, Leopard, Hyena, Jackal, Fox, Wolf, Sambar, Chinkara, Nilgai, Wild boar, Barking deer, Jungle cat, Palm civet, Wild dog, Sloth bear, Flying Squirrel, etc. Common grass, land birds and hill birds dominate the avifauna. Few kinds of wetland birds are also commonly seen over here. There is a lake called "Suki" within the sanctuary too, which attracts large number of migratory birds.