Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary
once covered with some of the densest evergreen forests in India, has
now been seriously denuded as a result of the construction of the Idukki
dam in the 60's. Subsequently, Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary
came up, extending over Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola taluks of Idukki district
and spreading over 77sq km at 450 - 748m above sea level.
The Idukki reservoir formed by three dams-Cheruthoni, Idukki and Kulamavu
- extending up to 33 sq. kms - forms part of this wildlife sanctuary.
Bison, Sambhar, Deer, Wild dogs, Jungle cats, Tiger, Wild boar etc are
found here, as also Jungle fowl, Myna, Laughing thrush, Black bulbul,
Peafowl, Wood pecker and the King fisher.
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Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary
Wildlife sanctuary (also called Periyar Tiger Reserve) is a fine example
of good management of forests. The sanctuary, which was a game reserve,
merged with the Forest Department in 1966. It was declared a Tiger Reserve
in 1978 under the Project Tiger scheme. In 1982 the core area of the reserve
(350 sq. km.) was notified as National Park.
The entire Park covers hills and verdant forests extending over an area
of 777 sq. km . It will be no exaggeration to say that Thekkady Wildlife
Sanctuary Park is one of the finest wildlife sanctuaries in India. Here,
in the crisp, cool air of the Western Ghats you will experience wilderness
and abundant wildlife first hand. The uniqueness of this sanctuary is
the Periyar lake, an artificial lake, which was created by damming the
Periyar river a century ago.
The open grasslands are home to a magnificent variety of animals - the
elephant, the bison, Gaur, Sambar deer, Barking deer, Mouse deer, Nilgiri
langur, Bonnet macaque, Lion-tailed macaque leopards, Jungle cats, Wild
dogs and most importantly the tiger.
estimated 40 tigers inhabit the Reserve. Other important animals are bear
, Porcupine, Jackal, Indian Giant Squirrel, Malabar flying squirrel, Wild
boar, small Indian Civet, Mongoose and the Pangolins. The tiger is the
main predator in the Periyar Tiger Reserve.
Periyar Tiger Reserve is also rich in bird life. Birds such as Malabar
Hornbill, Grey heron, Jungle fowl and Jungle Mynah are some among the
266 species of birds which are residents of this forest range. For more
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Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
is a unique thorny scrub forest in the rain shadow region of the Western
Ghats, about 40 kms from Munnar. The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is around
90 sq. kms in area and its rugged undulating terrain has held a special
fascination for the adventure traveller. It is the second habitat for
the endangered Giant Grizzled Squirrel (an endangered species) in India.
The altitude varies from 500 to 2400 metres and one can sense the drastic
variation in the climate and vegetation, since the gradients are quite
steep and drastic.The highest peaks are Kottakombumalai (2144 metre),
Vellaikal malai (1863m) and Viriyoottu malai (1845 metre). Unlike other
forests of Kerala, Chinnar gets only about 48 rainy days in a year during
October - November (North - East Monsoons).The forest types comprise thorny
scrub forests, dry deciduous forests, high sholas and wet grasslands.
Gaur, Panther, Spotted deer, Sambar, Giant Grizzled Squirrel, Hanuman
monkey, Rabbit etc. inhabit the Chinnar forests. For more information,
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