IN072
Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary


Year of compilation: 2004

Site description
Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary is located within the environs of Udaipur City. The Sanctuary lies around the Sajjangarh Fort, built by the erstwhile Maharana Sajjan Singh of Mewar in 1874 on Bansdara Hill, which is 936 m above msl. The Sanctuary lies 5 km from the centre of Udaipur City on its western boundary. Once a dense forest holding a large variety of wild fauna, it lost its forest cover due to biotic pressure. After declaration as a protected area in 1987, it has started to regain its vegetational cover. Thus, it is a unique example of habitat revival and restoration. Apart from improving the watershed of Ahar river, it also improves ground water and supplies clean surface water to the famous Pichola and Fatehsagar Lakes. Sujjangarh was famous for tigers but the last tiger was seen during 1956 (Sharma 1998). Bari Lake, popularly known as Tiger Lake is situated on the western slope of the Sanctuary. The clean water of this deep lake provides ideal habitat for aquatic fauna and flora. The flora of the Sanctuary is a typical representation of the Aravalli vegetation with the dominant species of Anogeissus pendula, A. latifolia and Boswellia serrata. Besides the Sanctuary also represents the scrub forest with the dominant species of Acacia leucophloea and Zizyphus. Commiphora wighitii (Guggul) (threatened plant), Vitex nigundo (Negar) and Barleria spp. (Vajradanti) are the important medicinal plants that are present in the sanctuary.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: The site is important due to the presence of nests of the Longbilled Vulture Gyps indicus on the rocky cliffs. In the scrub forest region of the Sanctuary, Pied Tit Parus nuchalis is found (R. Tehsin pers. comm. 2003; Sharma 2002). More than 130 bird species have been reported from the site (Sharma 1998, 2002). The site lies in Biome-11 and harbours 31 species of Indo-Malayan Tropical Dry Zone. BirdLife International (undated) has listed 59 species, so more than half are found at this site. Thus, this site easily fits the A3 criteria.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: This small Sanctuary bordering urban areas supports mammals such as Leopard Panthera pardus, Jungle Cat Felis chaus, India Palm Civet Paradoxurus hermaphroditus, Sambar Cervus unicolor, Spotted Deer Axis axis, Indian Pangolin Manis crassicaudata, Grey Langur Semnopithecus entellus Porcupine Hystrix indica, Hyena Hyaena hyaena, Indian Fox Vulpes bengalensis, Golden Jackal Canis aureus and Small Indian Civet Viverricula indica. The reptilian fauna is represented by the Indian Starred Tortoise Geochelone elegans, Monitor Lizard Varanus bengalensis, and many snakes (Sharma 1999).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
MAIN THREATS: Erosion; Collection of firewood; Easy access to the Sanctuary; Man-animal conflict; Over-grazing.

Sajjangarh is located within the boundary of Udaipur city therefore, it is easily accessible, leading to illegal collection of firewood and livestock grazing. Forest fires are started by local residents, to allow new grass growth. Also, there is the problem of man-animal conflict. The wild cats kill livestock from the nearby villages. Though the Forest Department has taken important preventive measures, awareness among the people residing around the site is still needed for better implementation of protective measures. The Udaipur based Natural Environment – Education and Development (NEED) Organization along with the Forest Department (Wildlife Division) and Department of Science and Technology has organized several awareness camps for the locals to protect the site from illegal activities and to safeguard the nesting sites of Gyps spp. Trekking and Nature Camps for school children are also being conducted by the Forest Department in collaboration with NEED.

Acknowledgements
Key contributors: Satish K. Sharma, Raza Tehsin, Satya Prakash Mehra and Sarita Sharma.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/05/2022.