Floristic diversity of Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary, northern Western Ghats, Maharashtra, India

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Savita Sanjaykumar Rahangdale
Sanjaykumar Ramlal Rahangdale


Bhimashankar Wildlife Sanctuary (BWS) is located on the crestline of the northern Western Ghats in Pune and Thane districts in Maharashtra State.  It was notified in October 1985 towards conservation of the state animal of Maharashtra, the Giant Squirrel Ratufa indica ssp. elphinstonii.  Although an important protected area in the Western Ghats, due to the lack of a comprehensive report, an assessment of floristic diversity of BWS was done from 2009 to 2016.  The results revealed that forest types and microhabitats are diverse in the sanctuary.  Major forest types are western subtropical broad leaved hill forest to moist deciduous types with a few included small patches of evergreen forests.  The rich flora of the sanctuary is represented by a total of 1,142 angiospermic taxa at species and infraspecific level spread over 619 genera and 124 families.  Of these 1,094 taxa are wild, which belong to 118 families and 586 genera.  Rest of the taxa are planted (34), and 14 introduced.  The taxa are classified as per the APG IV.  The  wild taxa include 20 magnolids, 285 monocots, one Ceratophyllales and 788 eudicots.  Out of these, 217 taxa are Indian endemics; which comprise about 19.84% of the total number of wild taxa (1,094) in the sanctuary and 5.04% of total Indian endemics (4,303).  Total 53 taxa are under different threat categories according to IUCN.  BWS harbours a significant extent of angiosperms in a very small geographic area.

Article Details

Author Biographies

Savita Sanjaykumar Rahangdale, Department of Botany, B.J. Arts, Commerce & Science College, Ale, Pune District, Maharashtra 412411, India

Department of Botany

Sanjaykumar Ramlal Rahangdale, Department of Botany, A.W. Arts, Science & Commerce College, Otur, Pune District, Maharashtra 412409, India

Associate Professor & Head


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