Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kerala Wildlife National Parks- National Parks & Reserve Wildlife Sanctuarys

Kerala National Parks - National Parks of Kerala, Reserve forest Sanctuary
Kerala has a forest area of 11,125 sq km, which is almost 29 percent of the total land area of the state. There are Five National Parks and 13 Wildlife Sanctuaries in Kerala. Kerala's National parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries are some of the most sought after tourist spots in South India. The diverse fauna and flora opens a whole new world in front of the visitors.
The following are the National Parks of Kerala.
Eravikulam National Park
Silent Valley National Park
Paampadum Shola National Park
Aanamudi Shola National Park
Mathikettaan Shola National Park

Eravikulam National Park:
Acclaimed as the roof of Kerala, this area was originally established as a sanctuary for the protection of the Nilgiri Tahr (Hemitragus hylocrius). Extending over an area of 97 sq km, Eravikulam National Park is the biggest National Park in Kerala. This park is situated in the Devikulam taluk of Idukki district. The endangered Nilgiri Tahr, the only wild goat, found to the south of the Himalayas, is the attraction here. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1975 and was notified as a National Park in 1978. The Western Ghats, identified as one of the world's hotspots of biodiversity, fortify the park and the Anamudi peak, at a height of 2,695 metres, stands like a sentinel nearby. The park boasts of lush vegetation which supports a wide variety of fauna.
Ideal Period of Visit November - April
Vegetation Tropical Evergreen
Nearest Railway Station Cochin (143 km)
Nearest Town Munnar (16 km)

Silent Valley National Park :
Notified as a National Park in 1984, Silent Valley National Park is situated in Palakkad district. The park is 89.52 sq km in area. The park got this name as the valley is free from the chirping noise of crickets. This park is home to one of the most endangered species of monkeys, the Lion-tailed Macaque. Wildlife here includes Elephants, Tigers, Gaur Sambhar, Panther etc. Besides, the thick undergrowth and foliage provides a suitable hide out for a number of small animals. The park is also home to a rich reserve of rare plants and herbs.
Ideal Period of Visit September - March
Vegetation Evergreen forest
Nearest Railway Station Coimbatore (155 km)
Nearest Town Mannarkkad (32 km)

Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary :
Adjacent to the Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary of Tamil Nadu, this sanctuary sprawls across 285 sq km and offers a fascinating sight of rare wild animals. It abounds in a variety of trees, mainly teak, neem, sandalwood and rosewood. There are three dams within the Parambikulam wildlife sanctuary, , Parambikulam, Thunakadavu and Peruvaripallam. Parambikulam has the largest population of Gaurs (Indian bisons). The rich fauna includes tigers, leopards, elephants, sambars, tahrs, wild dogs, Indian muntjacs, spotted deers, jungle cats, bonnet macaques, lion-tailed macaques apart from nearly 150 species of birds. There are two watchtowers to observe animals. The place is ideal for boating and trekking. Boating and cruising facilities are available in the reservoirs.
Ideal Period of Visit November - April
Vegetation Scattered patches of grassland and thickly forested
Nearest Railway Station Palakkad (125 km)
Nearest Town Palakkad (125 kms)

Periyar wildlife sanctuary:
Also known as the Thekkady Wildlife sanctuary, the Periyar wildlife sanctuary is located in the hills of the Western Ghats spreading over an area of 675 sqkm. With its geomorphology, wildlife, beautiful landscape and the picturesque Periyar lake within, the sanctuary is a major tourism center in Kerala and attracts a very large number of tourists each year. With Over 1800 flowering plants including 171 grass species and 143 species of orchids, 35 species of mammals and 265 varieties of bird species, the Periyar sanctuary is a repository of endemic, rare and endangered flora and fauna. Wild elephants, gaurs, langur, sambar deer, Malabar giant squirrel, flying squirrel, Cobra, viper, krait, hombill, stork, woodpecker, kingfisher, raptor, darter, cormorant, grackle, cluster etc... can be spotted here. Some of the famous tea gardens are also located around this place. Boating and trekking at the Thekkady (Periyar) Wildlife reserve is a memorable experience.
Major attractions of Periyar wildlife sanctuary are boat cruises on the lake, elephant ride, trekking, wildlife photography and bird watching.
Ideal Period of Visit November - April
Vegetation Tropical, a mixture of deciduous, semi-evergreen, and evergreen
Nearest Railway Station Kottayam (120 km)
Nearest Town Kumily (4 km)
Trekking trails Mangaladevi hills, Mullakudy, Thannikudy, Vellimala

Muthaga Wildlife Sanctuary :
The Wayanad sanctuary is part of the Wayanad plateau and is home to tigers, leopards, elephants and a number of other animals. The sanctuary is an extension of the Bandipur National Park in Kerala at its southern border. Rich in bio-diversity, the sanctuary is an integral part of the nilgiri biosphere reserve, which has been established with the chief objective of conserving the biological heritage of the region. The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary comprises of deciduous forest.
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a number of animals that include monkeys, Elephant, Panther, jungle cat, tiger, civet cat, wild dog, deer, bear and bison. Peacock, babblers, cuckoos, owl, wood pecker and jungle fowl are only a few among the different types of birds seen in the area.
Ideal Period of Visit June to October
Vegetation Moist deciduous forests, Semi evergreen forests
Nearest Railway Station Kozhikode (130 km)
Nearest Town Sulthan Bathery (22 km)

Mathikettan Shola:
This 12.8 sq km area was declared a National Park in November, 2003. The notified area, which extends to 1,281.74 hectares, falls in Pooppara village in Idukki district. Mathikettan shola was notified as a National Park to protect the wildlife and rich biodiversity of the area. The pristine shola forest in the area is bestowed with unique ecological, faunal, floral and geomorphological wealth.
Anamudi Shola:
The Anamudi Shola National Park constitutes the Mannavan shola, Idivara shola and Pullardi shola, covering a total area of around 750 hectares.

Pampadum Shola :
The smallest National Park in the state covers only an area of 1.32 sq km. This park is situated in the Marayoor village of Idukki district. Taking into account the environmental importance and the rare bio diversity of the Shola pastures, this area was notified as a National Park in 2004.