Sonanadi Sanctuary is spread over 301.18 sq km of prime forests of the Shiwalik Terai biotic province. Sonanadi literally means the river of gold. Gold panning used to be carried out in the river before the area became a sanctuary. The Palain and the Mandal are the perennial streams of the sanctuary. Historically, it was carved out of Kalagarh Forest Division. It was brought under the umbrella of Project Tiger and became a part of the Corbett Tiger Reserve in 1991 and also a part of Project Elephant. There are no villages inside the sanctuary. The forests of Sonanadi are remarkable for dense sal and rich bamboo clusters besides other species and is teeming with wildlife. Sonanadi range is located in Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary which is a part of Corbett National Park. Developed as a natural habitat of wildlife animals and birds, the Sonanadi range is blessed with the amazing beauty of flora and fauna. Situated in the north of the Sonanadi river, this zone is a favorite place for Asiatic Elephant along with tiger, cheetal, sambhar, leopard, and reptiles. Visitors can also enjoy over 550 of birds in their natural habitat. Sonanadi zone falls on Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary which is a part of Corbett Tiger Reserve. This is the only zone in Jim Corbett where tourists can walk on foot but richly house by non-venomous snakes of different kinds. Popular mammals in the region are tiger, leopards, and elephants. Tourists can take wildlife safari on jeep around the Sonanadi zone observing the wild beings at proximity and enjoying the enchanting beauty of greenery and nature.
Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary is blessed with a surprise package loaded with various faunas when it comes to the fauna part. The sanctuary is matched with the typical North Indian tropical forests. The plant life of the sanctuary is rich in different species of Sal, Sheesham, Semal, Bakli, Aonla, Jamun, Kanthber, Figs, and along with medicinal plants and some endangered species of Herbs and Shrubs. The Wildlife reserve is the shelter to about 600 types of resident and migratory birds. The diversity of avifauna in Sonanadi Sanctuary represents approximately 6% of the total bird species in the world. The profuse gathering of bird species in the sanctuary offers a prospect to view 150 species of birds in a limited visit to Sonanadi Sanctuary. The kinds of Birds normally seen here are, Thrushes, Pheasants, Hornbills, Warblers, Flycatchers, Wall Creeper, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Emerald Dove, Himalayan Bearded Vulture, Falcon, Brown Fish Owls, etc.
Mammals found in the wildlife sanctuary are Leopard, Sambhar, Cheetal, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Goral, Otter, Porcupine, Yellow-Throated Marten, and Sloth Bear. The giants like Elephants and Tigers are favorites among the visitors. A large display of reptiles like Python, Monitor Lizard, King Cobra, Different kinds of Turtles, Gharials, Mugger, Mahaseer, and Indian Trout, etc. Corbett National Park and Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary together comprise the Corbett Tiger Reserve which hosts the second largest population of Tiger-Panther Tigris in the world. The rare sightings of Himalayan Black Bear and Albino Cheetal are also recorded in Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary.