Sambar Deer

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Recently, researchers discovered a rare leucistic (partially white) sambar deer in Cauvery wildlife sanctuary.

About Sambar Deer

  • The Sambar (Rusa unicolor) is a large deer native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
  • They are quite elusive and are most active at dusk and at night. 
  • They are found in a broad range of forest habitats like dry deciduous forest, rainforest and mixed forests.
  • These deer play an important role in the ecosystem they live in by dispersing seeds throughout their native range.
  • Distribution: Their range is distributed from the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains across southern Asia and reaching the islands of Taiwan, Sumatra and Borneo.
  • Threats
    • Hunting and habitat encroachment are the main threats.
    • Sambar have developed more of a nocturnal activity pattern as a response to hunting by humans, who hunt them for trade and for food.
  • Conservation status
    • IUCN: Vulnerable
    • The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule-III


Key facts about Cauvery wildlife sanctuary

  • It is extended over three districts, namely, Chamarajanagar, Mandya and Ramanagara in Karnataka.
  • The sanctuary provides a vital link between Bannerghatta National Park in the north and BRT Tiger Reserve and Male Mahadev Hills Wildlife Sanctuary in the south.
  • The area is drained by three rivers, namely, Cauvery, Arkavathi and Shimsha.
  • Flora: The forest is primarily of dry deciduous and scrub types, but a wide range of forest types including moist deciduous, semi-evergreen, evergreen, shola, riverine, Hardwicke forest, etc.
  • Fauna: Important animals found in the sanctuary are tigers, elephants, leopards, bison, wild dog etc.


Q1) What is dry deciduous forest ?

A dry deciduous forest is a type of forest ecosystem characterized by specific environmental conditions and a particular composition of plant and animal species. These forests are found in regions with distinct dry and wet seasons, where the trees shed their leaves during the dry season to conserve water. These are typically found in areas with a tropical or subtropical climate.

Source: Researchers discover ‘white’ sambar in Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary