Two forest guards have been recently suspended for failing to prevent encroachment in the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary.
About Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary:
- It is located in the Western Ghats, in Belgaum District near Jamboti Village, Karnataka.
- It shares its boundary with the north of Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, north-west of the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park, north of Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary and east of Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary.
- It was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in December 2011.
- Rivers: Sanctuary forms the headwaters of a number of rivers like Tillari, Malaprabha and Mhadei and several perennial streams.
- At the western boundary of the sanctuary many geo-morphological lime stone formations and caves are situated.
- Vegetation: Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests.
- The sanctuary has been named after the Bhimgad Fort, constructed and commanded by Shivaji in the 17th century as a defence from Portuguese troops.
- It is famed for its Barapede caves which serve as the only known breeding area of a threatened species on the verge of extinction called Wroughton's free-tailed bat.
- Flora: The area is also home to several endemic plant species such as Ancistrocladusheyneanus, Diospyrospaniculata, Euonymus indicus, Myristicaarborea, etc.
- Fauna: Major animals found here include Elephants, King Cobras, Wild Dogs, Foxes, Chitals, Spotted Deer, Sambar, Sloth Bear, Gaur, Leopards and Tigers.
Q1) What is Wroughton's free-tailed bat?
Wroughton's free-tailed bat (Otomops wroughtoni) is a free-tailed bat formerly considered to be confined to the Western Ghats area of India, though it has also recently been discovered in northeast India and in a remote part of Cambodia. It is classified as a Data Deficient species as nothing much is known about their habitat, ecology and foraging range.