The woody flora of Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary, central Western Ghats of Karnataka, India - A checklist

Main Article Content

Naveen Babu Kanda
Kurian Ayushi
Vincy K. Wilson
Narayanan Ayyappan
Narayanaswamy Parthasarathy


Documenting the biodiversity of protected areas and reserve forests is important to researchers, academicians and forest departments in their efforts to establish policies to protect regional biodiversity. Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS) is an important protected area located in the central Western Ghats of Karnataka state known for its diverse flora and fauna with distinct ecological features. For the last four decades the sanctuary has witnessed the loss of forest cover, yet the vegetation in few locations is relatively undisturbed. The current inventory was undertaken during 2019–2020 to provide a checklist of woody species from SWS under-researched earlier. The list comprises 269 species of trees, lianas and shrubs distributed in 207 genera and 68 families. The most diverse families are Fabaceae, Moraceae, Rubiaceae, Rutaceae, Lauraceae, Apocynaceae, Meliaceae, Malvaceae, Phyllanthaceae, and Anacardiaceae, representing 48% of total woody flora. The sanctuary shelters 263 native and six exotic plant species. Thirty-nine species were endemic to the Western Ghats, five species to peninsular India and one species to the Western Ghats and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Four forest types, i.e., dry deciduous, moist deciduous, semi-evergreen, and evergreen forests, are represented in the sanctuary. Of the total species, only seven occurred in all forest types, while 111 species are exclusive to a single forest type. One-hundred-and-four taxa were assessed for the International Union for Conservation of Nature & Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List. Ten species that fall under Near Threatened, Vulnerable, and Endangered categories were encountered occasionally. The baseline data generated on plant diversity will be useful in highlighting the importance of these forests for species conservation and forest management. Such data form a cornerstone for further research. For instance, to understand the effect of invasive species and human impacts on the diversity of the region. 

Article Details

How to Cite
Kanda, N.B., Kurian Ayushi, Vincy K. Wilson, Narayanan Ayyappan and Narayanaswamy Parthasarathy 2021. The woody flora of Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary, central Western Ghats of Karnataka, India - A checklist. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 13, 13 (Nov. 2021), 20033–20055. DOI:


Agarwal, V.S. (1970). Wood-yielding Plants of India. Indian Museum, Calcutta, India.

Anonymous (2005). Management plan for Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary (2005–06 to 2014–15). Deputy Conservator of forest, Wildlife division, Shivamogga, 111 pp.

Ahmedullah, M. & M.P. Nayar (1986). Endemic plants of the Indian region. Botanical Survey of India. Calcutta, India. Vol. 1.

Bourgeon, G. (1899). Explanatory Booklet on the Reconnaissance soil map of forest area - Western Karnataka and Goa, French Institute, Pondicherry, India.

Chase, M.W., M.J.M. Christenhusz, M.F. Fay, J.W. Byng, W.S. Judd, D.E. Soltis, D.J. Mabberley, A.N. Sennikov, P.S. Soltis & P.F. Stevens (2016). An update of the angiosperm phylogeny group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG IV. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 181: 1–20.

Fick, S.E. & R.J. Hijmans (2017). WorldClim 2: new 1km spatial resolution climate surfaces for global land areas. International Journal of Climatology 37(12):4302-4315. Version 2.1. Accessed on 10 February 2021.

Gamble, J.S. & C.E.C. Fischer (1915–1935). Flora of the Presidency of Madras. Adlard & Son, Limited, 21, Hart Street, W.C. Vol. 1–3.

Gunaga, S., N. Rajeshwari, R. Vasudeva & K.N. Ganeshaiah (2015). Floristic composition of the Kaan forests of Sagar Taluk: sacred landscape in the central Western Ghats, Karnataka, India. Check List 11(3): 1–16.

IUCN (2021). The IUCN Red List of threatened species. Version 2021-2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Accessed at http:// Accessed on 10 September 2021.

Marchese, C. (2015). Biodiversity hotspots: A shortcut for a more complicated concept. Global Ecology and Conservation 3: 297–309.

Nayar, T.S., M. Sibi & A.R. Beegam (2014). Flowering Plants of the Western Ghats, India, Vol.1 and Vol.2. Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute, Kerala, India.

Nogueira, E.M., B.W. Nelson, B.W. & P.M. Fearnside (2005). Wood density in dense forest in central Amazonia, Brazil. Forest Ecology and Management 208(1–3): 261–286.

Pascal, J.P. & B.R. Ramesh (1997). A Field Key to the Trees and Lianas of the Evergreen Forests of the Western Ghats (India). Pondicherry, Institut Francais de Pondicherry, Pondicherry, India, 238 pp.

Raghavan, R.S. (1970). The Flora of Agumbe and Tirthahalli areas in Shimoga district, Mysore State. 3 Vols. PhD Thesis. University of Madras.

Ramachandra T.V., M.D.S. Chandran, S.P. Bhat, B.H. Aithal, G.R. Rao & M. Vishnu (2013). Status of forest in Shimoga district, Karnataka, Sahyadri conservation series 23, ENVIS Technical Report: 53. ENVIS- Environmental Information System, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, 424 pp.

Ramaswami, S.N., R. Rao & G.D. Arekal (2001). Flora of Shimoga District. Prasaranga, University of Mysore, Mysore, 753 pp.

Ramesh, B.R., A. Narayanan, P. Grard, J. Prosperi, S. Aravajy & J.P. Pascal (2010). BIOTIK: Biodiversity Informatics and Co-operation in Taxonomy for Interactive Shared Knowledge Base. Western Ghats v 1.0. A multimedia identification system of evergreen tree species of the Western Ghats, India. [DVD-ROM].

Rao, G.S.A. & Krishnamurthy (2021). Flowering plants of Agumbe region, central Western Ghats, Karnataka, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 13(7): 18853–18867.

Ravikumar, K. & D.K. Ved (2000). 100 Red-listed medicinal plants of COnservation Concern in Southern India. Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT), Bangalore, India, 467 pp.

Reddy, C.S., C.S. Jha & V.K. Dadhwal (2016). Assessment and monitoring of long-term forest cover changes (1920–2013) in Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot. Journal of Earth System Science 125(1): 103–114.

Reddy, C.S., A. Joseph, G.A. Abraham & M.M. Sabu (2021). Patterns of animal and plant discoveries, distribution and endemism in India—implications on the effectiveness of the protected area network. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 193(2): 1–16.

Saldanha, C.J. & D.H. Nicholson (1976). Flora of Hassan District, Karnataka, India. Oxford and IBH Publishing Co., New Delhi, 915 pp.

Saldanha, C.J. (1996). Flora of Karnataka. Vol. I-IV. Oxford and IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.

Shivanna, M.B. & N. Rajakumar (2011). Traditional medico-botanical knowledge of local communities in Hosanagara Taluk of Shimoga District in Karnataka, India. Journal of Herbs, Spices & Medicinal Plants 17(3): 291–317.

Singh, P., K. Karthigeyan, P. Lakshminarasimhan & S.S. Dash (2015). Endemic Vascular Plants of India. Botanical Survey of India, Kolkata, India, 339 pp.