|Central coordinates||73o 35.15' East 19o 14.47' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3|
|Altitude||650 - 1,140m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2004|
Site description The Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary lies in the northern part of the Western Ghats in Maharashtra. It is situated at the crest of the main Sahyadri range and includes spurs running gradually into the eastern plains, as well as steep terraced western slopes leading to the Konkan. Three rivers, Bhima, Ghod and Arala, originate from the western part of the Sanctuary. The crest of the Sanctuary experiences high velocity winds from December to March and is completely fog-bound during the monsoon. The main physical features of the Sanctuary are ridges, hill slopes, plateau, uplands, gorges, ravines, cliffs, valleys, rocky stream basins, spurs with flat tops, and valleys. Bhimashankar Sanctuary is famous for the highly endangered subspecies of the Indian Giant Squirrel Ratufa indica elphinstoni, locally known as Shekru. This is the state animal of Maharashtra. At the heart of the Sanctuary there is an old shrine of Bheema Shankar at the origin of the River Bhima. The Sanctuary includes Semi-evergreen, Moist Deciduous and scrub forest. It contains several evergreen species that are locally abundant only in restricted localities in the Western Ghats. Some plant species are Memecylon umbellatum, Atlantia racemosa and Xantolis tomentosa. Carvia callosa is another interesting species. During monsoon, various species of mosses and epiphytes including bioluminescent fungi can be seen on the trees.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni||passage||2004||present||-||A1||Least Concern|
|White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis||non-breeding||2004||present||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga||winter||2004||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Indian Vulture Gyps indicus||non-breeding||2004||present||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Nilgiri Woodpigeon Columba elphinstonii||resident||2004||present||-||A1, A2, A3||Vulnerable|
|Malabar Parakeet Psittacula columboides||-||2004||present||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Malabar Grey Hornbill Ocyceros griseus||-||2004||present||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Tytler's Leaf-warbler Phylloscopus tytleri||winter||2004||present||-||A2||Near Threatened|
|White-bellied Blue-flycatcher Cyornis pallipes||-||2004||present||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Crimson-backed Sunbird Nectarinia minima||-||2004||present||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Bhimashankar||Sanctuary||13,078||is identical to site||13,078|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Nature conservation and research|
|Notes: Livestock grazing|
|Notes: Tourism and recreation|
Acknowledgements Key contributors: Prakash Gole and Renee Borges.
Ali, S. and Ripley, S. D. (1987) Compact Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan (Second Edition). Oxford University Press, Delhi.
BirdLife International (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: The BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.
BirdLife International (undated) Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Asia: Project briefing book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K., unpublished.
Gole, P. (2000) Survey of Birds of Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary and formulation of Management guidelines for their protection.Final Report. A project sponsored by the Forest Department, Government of Maharashtra.
Grimmett, R., Inskipp, C. and Inskipp, T. (1998) Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Christopher Helm (Publishers) Ltd., London, U.K.
Rasmussen, P. C. and Anderton, J. C. (in press) Birds of South Asia: the Ripley guide. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
Stattersfield, A. J., Crosby, M. J., Long, A. J. and Wege, D. C. (1998) Endemic Bird Areas of the World: Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation. BirdLife Conservation Series No. 7. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.
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