The Sita Mata wildlife sanctuary is located in forests of bamboo and dry deciduous vegetation about 108 km from Udaipur. The Sanctuary provides rich pastures for a variety of Deer that includes the Chowsingha and for Caracal wild Boar, Pangolin and Leopards. Sitamata Sanctuary is spread over the Aravali and Vindhyachal mountain ranges and is the only forest region where teak trees of building value are found. In this sanctuary, around 50% trees are of teak. Besides these salar, tendu, amla and bamboo bel are also found in abundance. The leopard, hyena, jackal, fox, jungle cat, porcupine, spotted deer, wild bear, four - horned antelope and Nilgai are the animals found here.
The most conspicuous animal of the Sita Mata sanctuary is the flying squirrel which can be seen gliding from one tree to another after sunset. Its activities are nocturnal and during the day the day it hides in the hollow. The best time to see this squirrel is between February and March at Arampura Forest Guest House, when most of the trees shed their leaves and it is easier to spot the squirrel on the branches of leafless trees.
THE DIVERSE WILDLIFE OF THE SITA MATA JUNGLE
The wildlife in the Sita Mata jungle includes 44 IUCN red listed critically endangered Namdapha "flying squirrels" found only in the Sita mata jungle in northern India. The population has increased by 2 with the birth of 2 new squirrels in 2006. This squirrel actually does not fly but glides up to 70 meters from tree to tree at night foraging for food and housing materials. This squirrel is nocturnal and comes out of their tree home at the exact moment of dusk. It waits patiently watching for any threats and then takes the first flight of the evening to a nearby tree to enjoy a “breakfast” of maduka indica leaves. This squirrel is one of the Indian jungles most glorious sights. Fifty spotted black, yellow, and cream colored panthers roam the Sita Mata jungle at night.
Again being a nocturnal animal it is hard to catch a sight of this great cat, but when you first see this agile, elegant cat in the early morning or late evening in the Sita Mata jungle the impression stays with you for a lifetime. Other rare wild cats in the Sita Mata jungle include 78 jungle cats, and 119 civets. Many times while you are on foot in the jungle or while in the jungle by jeep these cats roam between their separate hunting grounds and a sighting is fairly well guaranteed. Groups of Sambhar Deer, Spotted Deer, the rare Four Horned antelope, Jackal and Antelope can be seen both during the day and in the dusk hour of evening throughout the Sita Mata jungle. The finest birds to sight in the Sita Mata jungle include the Grey jungle fowl, Aravali red spur Fowl, Green Pigeon, Alexandrine Parakeet, stork-billed kingfisher, Indian pitta, black headed oriole, Indian paradise Flycatcher, yellow checked Tit, and the Purple rumped Sun Bird. The large predatory birds that can be seen include Vultures, Owls, and Eagles.
FLORA OF THE SITA MATA JUNGLE
There are approximately 145 separate species of plants and trees in the Sita Mata Jungle including 7 plants on the International Union for Conservation endangered plant species list, one of which is the rare Vanda Orchid. Your sight and senses are overwhelmed as you walk or drive by jeep through this thick forest filled with stately Northern dry mixed deciduous and Southern tropical deciduous trees, centuries old, that are surrounded by free flowing rivers filled with waterfalls.
TOPOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE OF THE SITA MATA JUNGLE
The Sita Mata Jungle is covered by hills and valleys ranging in altitude from 280 meters to 600 meters above sea level. The slope of the Sita Mata Jungle runs from North-West to South-East with three main rivers, the Jackham, The Karmoi, and the Sitamata flowing perennially throughout the Sita Mata Jungle on the same slope.
The climate of Sita Mata ranges from 6 Centigrade in the winter to 45 Centigrade in the summer months. During the rainy season of July and August 500 to 1,000 mm of rain falls in this Jungle.
|Area||:||422.94 sq. km|
|Rainfall||:||800 m.m annually|
|Season||:||Winter Oct. - March
Summer April – June
|Language||:||Rajasthani, Hindi, English|
|Best time for visit||:||October to March|