Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve has got a high diversity of fauna, similar to the adjoining protected areas. Notable species other than the Tigers are; Elephants, Gaur, Black Buck, Four Horned Antelope, Mugger, White Backed Vulture, Sloth Bear, wide variety of Deers, Primates, Civets, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes and other lower creatures.
Important Mammals – Status, Distribution and Habitat
According to estimates, there are four hundred and ten (8.86% of the World’s mammals) species of mammals known to exist in India, which are spread over 186 genera, 45 families and 13 orders. This includes nearly 89 species listed as threatened in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals (IUCN 2006). One hundred and twenty species of mammals are known from the Western Ghats, of which fourteen species are endemic. The mammalian fauna of the Western Ghats is dominated by insectivores (11 species), bats (41 species) and rodents (27 species including the porcupine). The diversity of mammals is high in the dry thorn forests, dry deciduous forests and riparian forest. Thirteen percentage mammal species found in India are present in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve.
Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris)
Tiger is placed in the Appendix I of the CITES and so the trade of this animal is strictly prohibited internationally in the Red Data Book. Tiger is also placed in Schedule-I of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972.
During 2005, evidences of Tiger reappearance were found in STR region and it was scientifically proved by CCMB & WTI study in 2010. From then on, owing to proper protection, adequate living conditions and sufficient prey base, there has been continuous upsurge in Tiger population from 28, which is proved by lab results. At present, based on the camera trap records, this region is being abode for about 54 individual tigers.
Bonnet Macaque (Macaca radiate) Vella korungu -Tamil
A medium-sized long tailed macaque with Total body length 35-65cm, Weight 4-9 kg. A bonnet of long dark hairs radiates in all directions from a whorl on its crown and this peculiar cap does not quite cover the forehead, where the hairs are short and nearly parted in the centre. The coat of the Bonnet Macaque is variable both among individuals and with the season. In the cold weather it is usually lustrous olive-brown; the under part whitish. With the onset of the hot weather the coat loses its luster, turns harsh and scraggy, and fades to a Buffy grey.
In Sathamangalam Tiger Reserve, bonnet macaque is commonly found in the riparian and deciduous forests. They are seen feeding on various wild fruits, leaves and shoots, and of late, they congregate on the main roads due to feeding by the travelers.
The Common Langur (Semipithecus entellus)
Langurs are commonly seen near Dhimbam road, Hasanur plateau and Talamalai forests.
Slender Loris (Loris Iyddekerianus)
Slender Loris is the southern grey-brown cousin of the slow loris, with total body length of 20 – 25 cm and body weight of 125-340 gms, and tail distinctly absent. The Slender Loris has the same secretive and nocturnal habits as the Slow Loris, but it is not confined to dense forest, and is found equally in open tree jungle. It is listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, endemic to hill and plains of Southern India, seen in deciduous and thorn forests of Sathyamangalam. The IUCN status for the species is Vulnerable.
Leopard (Panthara pardus)
The most adaptable big cat of Indian sub-continent, leopard is a sleek short animal with a fulvous or bright fulvous coat marked with small close set black. The sightings of blackpanther are reported in the forest tracts of Nandipuram, Thengumarada, Chikalli and Neydalapuram. The IUCN categorized leopard as Lower Risk, near threatened LR. It is also placed in the Appendix I of the CITES and so the trade of this animal is strictly prohibited internationally. It is also placed in the Schedule-I of Indian Wildlife Protection Act 1972. Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary supports a good population of leopards, (around 20) as evident from the distribution of leopard signs.
Jungle Cat ( Felis chaus)
The most common wild cat in India, with its long legs and comparatively short tail the Jungle Cat has a very distinctive appearance. Of the lesser cats, this species was the most common and was seen in most habitat types in the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, especially mixed thorn forests areas of Bhavanisagar Range.
Small Indian Civet (Viverricula indica)
A common ring tailed civet with total body length of 45 – 60 cm. and body weight of 2.5 – 3.5 kg. The estimates of their numbers are not available. A detailed study is needed to investigate the ecology of the species. The IUCN status is Lower Risk and is in schedule-II of Wildlife Protection Act.
Common Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphrodites)
It is a black or blackish-brown civet with long coarse hair, having total body length of 42 – 69 cm and body weight of 2.7 -4.5 kg. It is probably the most common civet in India, distributed in deciduous and scrub forest and well wooded countryside. Habitats loss and poaching are conservation threats. The IUCN status is Lower Risk and is in schedule-II of Wildlife Protection Act. It is seen in the Riparian forests of Sathyamangalam.
Brown Palm Civet (Paradoxurus jerdoni)
A civet with a limited forest distribution found in the hill ranges of south India. It’s a shy animal, rarely entering houses and is distinctive in its deep brown colouring. The IUCN status for the species is vulnerable and is in schedule-II of Wildlife Protection Act.
The Common Mongoose (Herpestes edwardsi)
It’s commonly found in the open scrub, cultivated land, rocky patches and forest edges being the preferred habitat.
Ruddy Mongoose (Herpestes smithii)
A large forest mongoose of Peninsular India, the Ruddy Mongoose resembles the Grey Mongooses, but has a reddish-brown infusion, particularly on the head, neck and shoulder. Its legs are also reddish, especially the hind ones. The tail is short with black tip that is carried pointed upwards, a unique behavioral trait.
Stripe – Becked Mongoose (Herpestes Vitticolis): A stocky Southern Indian mongoose with a reddish tint to its body, this is the largest mongoose in Asia with total body length 40-55cm and weight of 2.5-3.5 kg. It is distributed in moist forests and swampy areas of Western Ghats. It is found mostly in dry mixed deciduous forests of Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve.
There are five species are occurring in India. Two of them are known to in Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary. They are Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) and Smooth coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata).
The Sloth Bear (Melursus ursins):
Sloth bear is distributed in the forested tracts of India in deciduous jungles, scrub and grassland. Sathyamangalam is famous for its sighting of sloth bear in Bhavani Sagar, and Sathyamangalam Ranges. Fruits of Cassia fistula, Ziziphus mauritiana, and Cordia domestica and insects such as ants and termites were the most dominant food items. A detailed study on the ecology of the species is warranted for its scientific management.
Striped Hyena (Hyaena hyaena)
The hyena is rare in forested districts, abundant in open country, especially where low hills and ravines offer convenient holes and caves for shelter. It plays a major role in the eco system. Sathyamangalam division, Nilgiri north and Mudumalai forests are the last remaining stronghold for this endangered species.
The Jackal (Canis aures)
The exact status and distribution of the Jackal in the Tiger Reserve needs a through study. This species once common is becoming rare due to intensive poaching by habitual hunters like ‘Narikuravars’.
INDIAN WILD DOG (Cuon alpinus)
The IUCN categorized wild dog as Vulnerable (VU) species. It is placed in the Appendix of the CITES and so the trade of this animal is strictly prohibited internationally. The hunting and poaching of Wild dog is strictly prohibited and it is placed in the Schedule I of Indian Wildlife Protection 1972. Wilddogs are commonly seen in almost all areas of the Tiger Reserve.
THE INDIAN ELEPHANT (Elephas maximus)
The estimated Elephant population in Sathyamangalam is approximately 350 to 450. The area connects with other protected areas namely Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and Nilgiri Eastern Slope Reserve Forests. Man-elephant conflict is high in certain areas of the Tiger Reserve like Bhavanisagar, Talawady, etc.
GAUR (Bos gaurus)
A good population is found in Bhavanisagar range. Poaching, loss of habitats, grazing and diseases are conservation threats. Gaur is normally seen in the dense jungles of Sathyamangalam forests.
BLACKBUCK (Antelope cervicapra)
There are about 800 to 900 Blackbucks recorded in the region. There is a good population of black-buck in Bhavanisagar Range and Thalavadi Range of Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve.
FOUR HORNED ANTELOPE (Tetracerus quadricornis)
The four-horned antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis) is a small antelope, standing 65 cm at shoulder. It is one among the tropical Indian antelopes that lives in undulating or hilly terrain. A scientific study of this species in the then, Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary revealed that around 100 animals are found in the savannah forests of Thalavadi and Talamalai forests.
SAMBAR (Cervus unicolor)
Sambar is the largest Indian deer and carries the grandest horns; height at shoulder is nearly 150 cm average about 140 cm. A good population is found in the Tiger Reserve areas.
SPOTTED DEER (Axis axis)
A well-built Spotted deer stands 90 cm at the shoulders and weights about 85 kg the record head measures 101 cm 85 cm antler would be good anywhere, 80 cm in South India. Good population is fairly common in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, especially Bhavanisagar and Sathyamangalam Ranges.
BARKING DEER (Muntiacus muntjak)
It is commonly encountered in Talamalai forest and other dense jungles. It is a very shy and cryptic deer, occurring singly or as pair.
MOUSE-DEER (Tragulus meminna)
Mouse deer is seen rarely in Gettavadi, Talamalai and Hasanur areas. A detailed study is required to know about its distribution and habitat preferences.
THE INDIAN WILD BOAR (Sus scrofa)
Wildboar is ubiquitous in all areas and it is a big menace to the farmers of Sathyamangalam.
INDIAN PANGOLIN (Manis crossicaudata)
The most distinctive character of pangolin is its armour of protecting scales. Though, terrestrial in habit, pangolins climbs well easily. They are often seen in trees probably in quest of trees ants. They climb somewhat like bears and grip a bough tightly with the forelimbs and claws, and if need be with a curl of the tail. This species is distributed in the dry parts of the Tiger Reserve.
INDIAN HARE: (Lepus nigricollis)
Black-napped hares are commonly sighted in open areas. They can be best seen during night hours along the roads and are usually dazed by the beam of headlights.
THE INDIAN PORCUPINE (Hystrix indica)
It is commonly seen in many parts of the region.