Cradled in a portion of Vindhyachal Mountain Ranges, passing through Raisen and Sehore Districts of Madhya Pradesh, Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most fascinating abodes for a wide variety of wildlife.
The sanctuary runs parallel on the northern side of Narmada River, the "life line of Madhya Pradesh".
Kolar River forms the western boundary of the Sanctuary.
The sanctuary was first notified in 1976 and then extended in 1983.
In the year 2008, Looking to the ever-increasing numbers of Tigers inside the Sanctuary, the National Tiger Conservation Authority, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India decided to declare the Sanctuary as a Tiger Reserve.
In the year 2012, the Chief Wildlife Warden, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Government of MP, prepared a working plan for the Tiger Reserve and sent the proposal to the Government of MP, demarcating the Core and Buffer areas of the Reserve.
The Sanctuary remains unique in many ways, as it is not just the best Flora and Fauna of the Central India, with spectacular Teak Forests, beautiful hills and meandering rivers, sustaining the rich biodiversity, round the year, but it also has many natural and archeological spenders to offer to its visitors. There are spectacles a many, as one drives into the forests, with never a dull moment.
The Sanctuary has Bhimbetika "a group of rock shelters and rock paintings" which is one of the '' World Heritage Site '' declared by UNESCO, and hence the Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary is of International importance. 'Chinkara' an endangered species is also found in the Sanctuary. Ratapani reservoir, after which the sanctuary is named, forms a good habitat for crocodiles and other aquatic fauna. Dahod reservoir is another significant water body inside the sanctuary.
The variety of habitat provides sufficient food and shelter for wildlife in the sanctuary. With over 40 Tigers including over a dozen young cubs, as per the 2019 count and over 75 Leopards, Wild Dogs, Hyaenas, Jackals and Foxs also inhabit the sanctuary. The major constituents of herbivores are Spotted Deer, Blue Bull, Sambhar, Barking Deer, Chinkara, Black Buck and Monkeys. Sloth Bears are also common in the sanctuary. Crocodiles find a good habitat in Ratapani reservoir. The area is an abode for more than 150 species of birds including Paradise Flycatcher, the state bird of Madhya Pradesh. A lot of local and migratory birds are seen in various reservoirs in the sanctuary.