Ratanmahal Sloth Bear Sanctuary consists of a majority of sloth bears in the entire state of Gujarat, which is the principal attraction in the wilds of Ratanmahal, Devgadh Baria. The sanctuary comes under Dahod district of Central Gujarat and was considered as a wildlife sanctuary since March 1982. The sanctuary falls on the border of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The original habitat of the Sloth bear, hence, extends towards Madhya Pradesh. The natural beauty of forests in this small place with rugged topography provides the views of a hill station to wildlife lovers. To know the activities and behavior of the sloth bear, this sanctuary provides the best opportunity because they are thickly populated here. The sanctuary also has many leopards.
The forests consist of dry teak forests at the foothills and mixed deciduous forests with dry bamboo brakes on the peripheral region. There are pure instances of ‘timru’ and ‘sadad’ too. The increased concentration of mahuda trees offers plenty of food to sloth bears.
The forests of Ratanmahal represent the catchment of River Panam, which is a major river of Central Gujarat. The river drains along the districts of Dahod and Panchmahals. These are major towns existing on the banks of this river. An irrigation dam and reservoir too was constructed on this river near Godhra town. These forests, therefore, have more ecological importance for the purpose of water conservation.
In the peripheral regions, there are mixed deciduous forest, dry bamboo brakes, Timru forest (pure patch) and Sadad forest (pure patch). Maximum population of Mahudo trees coupled with pure patches of Sadad and Timru forest on plateaus of the hills and at foothills as well as in the plains, offering food to sloth bear. Tree covers are very beautiful. There are even quite a handful number of Jamun trees as well that offer food to the sloth bears during monsoon.