IN069
Phulwari Wildlife Sanctuary


Year of compilation: 2004

Site description
Phulwari Wildlife Sanctuary is among the few sanctuaries in Rajasthan having a rich floral diversity. It abounds in flowering plants, shrubs, herbs and climbers, hence the name Phulwari, i.e the abode of flowers. It was the hunting ground of the erstwhile rulers of Bhomat, the region by which it is popularly known. It was declared as a Sanctuary in 1983 in recognition of its biodiversity. It comprises Tropical Dry Deciduous forests of miscellaneous species with rich growth of bamboo. The area is mostly inhabited by Meena, Garasiya and Kathodia tribals who still live in primitive conditions. The Sanctuary is situated amidst the Aravalli Range in Udaipur district of Rajasthan, c. 123 km southwest of Udaipur. It borders Gujarat state to the south and southeast. The terrain is mainly hilly with a network of streams and nallas. The main river, Wakal, flowing southwards, divides the Sanctuary into two and debouches into Sabarmati river in Gujarat State. The Sanctuary can be approached by road from Udaipur and Ahmedabad, which are 123 km and 140 km away respectively. The important woody vegetation along the watercourses in the Sanctuary comprises tall trees such as Buchanania lanzan, Pongamia pinnata, Madhuca indica, Terminalia arjuna, Syzygium cumini, Ficus bengalensis and Phoenix sylvestris. The upper and middle slopes of the hills bear Terminalia tomentosa, Lannea coromandelica, Wrightia spp., Anogeissus latifolia and Diospyros melanoxylon.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: Phulwari Sanctuary is one of the most neglected sanctuaries of Rajasthan. Nevertheless, 202 bird species are reported from this site (Sharma 2002). Except for the two species of vultures recently classified as Critically Endangered (BirdLife International 2001), and the Vulnerable Pied or White-winged Black Tit Parus nuchalis, not many threatened bird species are found in Phulwari Wildlife Sanctuary, but the extant, albeit fragmented forest, harbours 30 out of 59 Biome-11 (Indo-Malayan Tropical Dry Zone) species. The Sanctuary is also a good example of the representative faunal diversity of the Aravalli mountains. It also harbours five Near Threatened species in the waterbodies and streams but their numbers are not significant.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: General biodiversity of this Sanctuary has been well studied with long lists of reptiles, amphibians and mammals available (Sharma 1995, 1997, 2002). The key reptilian species of the Sanctuary are the Marsh Crocodile Crocodylus palustris, Monitor Lizard Varanus bengalensis and Indian Rock Python Python molurus. Among primates, Common Langur Semnopithecus entellus is very common. Leopard Panthera pardus, Sloth Bear Melursus ursinus, Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Hyena Hyaena hyaena, Indian Fox Vulpes bengalensis and Wild Boar Sus scrofa are also encountered.

Chinkara Gazella bennettii and Four-horned antelope Tetracerus quadricornis are the herbivores which provide food for the top carnivores. Chundawat et al. (2002) also reported Large Brown Flying Squirrel Petaurista petaurista. Along with Sitamata WLS (an IBA), Phulwari is the westernmost limit of the distribution of this species in India.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
MAIN THREATS: Poaching; Illegal felling of trees; Human settlements; Firewood collection; Repeated drought; Construction of dam; Alteration of habitats.

Due to village settlements situated inside and adjacent to the Sanctuary, activities such as collection of firewood, illegal felling of trees and poaching of animals including birds are known to occur. The Kathodias (also known as ‘Monkey-eating Tribe’) use traditional techniques for trapping and killing of wildlife, especially monkeys. Strict patrolling as well as awareness campaigns are required to check such activities. Damming of the Mansi-Wakal river is in progress, which will stop the continuity of water flow in the river and will cause significant destruction of the habitats along the watercourses. This will, in turn, affect the faunal and floral diversity. The site has a rich flora, with dense cover in the core area. Field surveys should be undertaken to document the fauna. The Department of Forests (Wildlife Division) is conducting eco-trekking and camping for tourists to sensitize them, and create awareness of the necessity for protecting the Sanctuary.

Acknowledgements
Key contributor: Satish K. Sharma.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Phulwari Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/05/2022.