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Wildlife in Kerala

Silent Valley
Located 40 km from Mannarkkad, Silent valley is Extremely fragile, a unique preserve of tropical evergreen rain forests lying above the equator and the forest strip which causes the summer rains in Kerala.
The Silent Valley National Park has an area of 90 sq km is located in the north eastern corner of the district. It rises abruptly to the Nilgiri Plateau in the north and overlooks the plains of Mannarkkad in the south. The core of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is the Silent Valley National Park. Despite its name, the Silent Valley (the clamour of Cicadas is conspicuously absent here) echoes with the sounds of teeming wildlife. The denizens of this sprawling habitat of endangered virgin tropical forests include rare birds, deer and tiger. Perhaps, nowhere else can one also find such a representative collection of peninsular mammals, over a 100 species of butterflies and 400 species of moths and other fauna like the Ceylon Frog Moth, Great Indian Hornbill, the Nilgiri Laughing Thrush and the Lion-tailed Macaque. The river Kunthi descends from the Nilgiri hills, an altitude of 2000 m above sea level, and traverses the entire length of the valley and rushes down to the plains through the deep forest. The river Kunthi never turns brown and is always crystal clear, perennial and wild. The evapo-transpiration from these forests is much higher than from any other surfaces. This cools the atmosphere, helps easy condensation of water vapour and thus causes the summer rains.

Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary

Situated on an area of 777 square kilometers in the Cardamom hills region of the Western Ghats the Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the largest and most frequented wildlife reserves in India. It is visited by the wildlife enthusiasts with a view to spotting tigers and leopards. But sightings of these animals are all but assured. However, this place is ideal for watching other animals in their natural habitat. Other animals include elephant, wild pig, sambar, gaur, Malabar flying squirrel, stripe-necked mongoose and over 260 species of birds including blue-winged parakeet, Nilgiri wood pigeon, white-bellied tree pie, laughing thrushes and flycatchers. Located close to the border of the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the park makes an ideal base to have a sojourn while undertaking long journey across the Ghats between Madurai and the coast. It's also a convenient place for excursion to the Cardamom hills, combined with the well known pilgrimage center of the Sabarimala, a couple of tea factories, spice plantations, and spectacular view of the forest waterfalls all of them a stone's throw distance. Situated at cool altitudes with temperatures ranging between 15?C and 30?C, the park centers on a vast artificial lake. It was included into the Tiger Project in 1979. Boat cruises on the lake are the best way to explore the park. There are boat services, which will take you around the lake. You can also indulge in trekking and elephant rides in the sanctuary. The best time to visit the Park is from December to April, when the dry weather entices animals from the forest out to the lakeside. However, avoid the period immediately after the monsoons, they are more likely to remain in the forest.

Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary

Kerala is home to many popular National Parks of India.Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the National Parks in Kerala spread over an area of 285 sq. kilometers. The Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is laid with serene vegetation in a valley between the Annamalai ranges of Tamil Nadu and the Nelliampathy ranges of Kerala. This National Park in Kerala offers a scintillating sight of rare wild animals. The area has quite a few hill tribes here like Malayars, Kadas, and Muthuvaas. This wildlife sanctuary has some marshy land and scattered patches of grassland, thickly forested with stands of bamboo, sandalwood, rosewood, and teak. Here you can find little remains of the original teak forests, other than the famous Kannimari teak tree, the largest in Asia as teak plantations. The tree is about 5 km from Thunakadavu, and is one of the prime attractions at the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary. On your tour to Kerala you can visit the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, which has the largest population of Gaurs (bison). It is also a home to elephants, sloth bears, wild boars, sambhars, chital tigers, panthers, and crocodiles. There are also bonnet macaques, spectacled cobras, kraits, vipers, turtles, darters, little cormorants, and black eagles. Parambikulam is open throughout the year, but is best avoided during the monsoon. Between June and August, the monsoon rains lash, making hillsides unstable and causing slush, mosquitoes, drippy roofs and other nuisances. On your tour to Kerala you can enjoy a ride in the boat cruises, which can be arranged in the Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary. The Rest House of the State Forest Department at Thunakkadvu, Thellikkal, and Elathode offer comfortable lodging facilities. A tree house in the Reserved Forest area in Thunakkadavu has to be booked in advance. There are two watchtowers one at Anappadi, 8km from Thunakadavu, and other at Zungam, 5km from Thunakadavu.

Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary
A land-locked district, Idukki is one of the most nature rich areas of Kerala. Situated at an altitude of 450-748 mt above sea level, this sanctuary occupies the forest land between the Cheruthoni river and the Periyar river. This sanctuary extends over the Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks of Idukki district, spreading over 77 sq. km and is about 450 - 748 m above sea level. The Idukki Reservoir formed by three dams - Cheruthoni, Idukki and Kulamavu - extends to 33 sq km. There is a scenic lake around the sanctuary, covered by an enchanting canopy of tropical ever-green and deciduous trees, and offers boat rides. Elephants, bisons, bear, wild boars, sambar wild dogs, jungle cats, tiger, wild boar etc are seen here apart from various species of snakes including cobra, viper, kraits and numerous non-poisonous ones. Birds include jungle fowl, myna, laughing thrush, black bulbul, peafowl, woodpecker, kingfisher etc. The wildlife here is similar to that of Thekkady. This sanctuary lies adjacent to the world renowned Idukki Arch Dam. The lake on the three sides of the sanctuary offers a panoramic view to the tourists.

Animals: Elephant, bison, sambar deer, wild dog, jungle cat, tiger, wild boar etc.
Birds: Jungle fowl, myna, laughing thrush, black bulbul, peafowl, woodpecker, kingfisher etc
Snakes: Cobra, viper, krait and a number of non poisonous snakes.

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

Located at Devikulam taluk of Idukki district Kerala, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is a well-known reserve that extends over an area of over 90 sq km. Recognized as a wildlife sanctuary in 1984, it lies in the rain shadow region of the Western Ghats. As a result, Chinnar gets only about 48 rainy days in a year during the months of October and November when Northeast monsoons are at work.
Apart from being the habitat of the endangered giant grizzled squirrel in India, the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is home to tigers, elephant, bonnet macaques, gaur, Kraits, spotted deer, spectacled cobras, sambar, turtles, vipers, little cormorants, darters and black eagles. The place is also ideal for boating and trekking.
The sanctuary abounds in a variety of trees, including the unique thorny scrub forest with Xerophytic species. The flora of the sanctuary comprises dry deciduous forest, thorny scrub forests, high sholas and wet grasslands. It is, indeed, a reservoir of tranquil greenery ensconced the verdant valley. Among the species of flora include Acacia arabica (Karivelam), Acacia leucofolia (Velvelam), Santalum album (Chandanam), Anogeissuslatifolia (Mazhukanjiram), Elaeocarpus recurvatus (Bhadraksham) and Strobilanthus kunthianus (Neelakurinji).
The rippling topography with breathtaking spectacle of craggy rocks adds to the scenic grandeur of the sanctuary. Best Season to visit the sanctuary is from December to April. As far as accommodation is concerned, private lodges are available at Marayoor, Munnar and Udumalpetta. You can also find accommodation in the government guesthouses at Munnar and Udumalpetta.

Wayanad Wildlife Park
The Wynad Wildlife Sanctuary in the southern Indian state of Kerala is a must for tourists looking forward to experience a bit of wilderness during their travel in Kerala. A part of the Wynad Plateau, this wildlife park in Kerala is famous for its tigers and leopards along with the other wildlife that one can find during holidays in Wynad.
The sanctuary is an extension of the Bandipur National Park in Kerala at its southern border. The region, which is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, was notified in the year 1973 as a wildlife sanctuary. The management of the park laid emphasis on creating scientific conservation methods that are complementary to the traditional lifestyle of the tribals residing in the region.
The Wynad Wildlife Sanctuary comprises two districts of Kerala in India. There is a good road network that connects the sanctuary with the other important places in Kerala and the rest of India.
The climate of the region is very much influenced by the southwest monsoon that touches it in the months from June to September. There is good rainfall during the northeast monsoon too in the months of October and November. July receives the highest rainfall while February is the driest month here. April and May are the hottest months here while coldest months are January and February.

Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is composed of the dense forests and the Peppara dam built on the Karamana River and was declared as a sanctuary in 1983 to increase the drinking water supply to Thiruvananthapuram and the adjoining suburbs. Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is merged partially with the Palode reserve (24sq.kms) and the Kottoor reserve (29sq.kms); all the three together forming the whole of the area covered by the Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary. The wildlife sanctuary covers an area of 53 sq.kms with the reservoir spread in an area of 5.82 sq.kms. Located about 50kms. North East of capital city Thiruvananthapuram in Nedumangad taluk of Thiruvananthapuram district, the topography of the wildlife sanctuary is quite hilly.
The major wildlife species found in the wildlife sanctuary are: tiger, panther, wild dog, lion tailed macaque, elephant, gaur, sambhar, barking deer, mouse deer, wild boar, Nilgiri langur, Malabar squirrel etc. The bird species especially the water birds like darter, little cormorant, pied king fisher and egrets are most commonly seen in the sanctuary. Several species of snakes including the king cobra and python are dominantly present in this sanctuary. The Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary is also famous for its wide variety of moth and butterflies. Apart from the wildlife, there are 13 tribal settlements in the Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary.
The forest areas in the wildlife sanctuary mainly consist of three major forest belts Southern hilltop tropical evergreen forests found atop the hills with an elevation of above 1000m; West coast semi- evergreen forests that occur mostly on the hills with an elevation of 150 to 1050m; Southern moist mixed deciduous forests cover more than 60% of the area and occupy the lower slopes of the hills.

Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary
The Neyyar reservoir is easily navigable and extends 9.06 sq. km. The vegetation varies from tropical wet evergreen to grasslands. Agasthyakoodam of 1890 metres elevation is in this sanctuary. Elephants, gaur, sloth bear, Nilgiri Tahr, jungle cat, wild boar, Nilgiri Langur etc. are seen. A crocodile rearing centre, deer farm and lion safari park are the main attractions near the dam site.
Peechi - Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary
It lies in the catchment areas of Peechi and Vazhani dams in Trichur District. Peechi, the headquarters of the sanctuary is 15 km by road from Trissur.

Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
Elephants, sloth bear, sambar, mouse-deer etc. are found in this sanctuary. It is also rich in avifauna and reptiles. This sanctuary is easily accessible from Kannur.

Thattekad Bird Sanctuary
This bird sanctuary is a peninsular land of 25 sq. km. Formed between the branches of River Periyar. The rivers are rich in fishlife and are shallow for most of the year. The avifauna includes both resting indigenous birds and water birds. The most notable of the indigenous birds are Malabar grey hornbill, grey jungle fowl, heron, egret, jungle myna, woodpecker, rose winged and blue winged parakeet. Rare birds like Ceylon frog-mouth, rose billed roller etc. are also seen

Chimmini Wildlife Sanctuary (Thrissur)
Main attractions: Fauna: Leopards, elephants, bears, wild pips, wild bisons, tigers etc. Flora: Evergreen forests. Semi evergreen forests. Leaf shedding forests. Trekking trails: Many paths up the rocks and into the forests of the Sanctuary.

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