Kerala is home to several wildlife sanctuaries and national parks that showcase the state’s diverse flora and fauna. Here are some notable wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala:
- Periyar Tiger Reserve: Located in the Western Ghats, Periyar Tiger Reserve is one of the most well-known wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala. It is home to a significant population of tigers and elephants. The reserve also offers opportunities for boating in the scenic Periyar Lake, where visitors can spot animals coming to drink water along the shores.
- Eravikulam National Park: Situated near Munnar, Eravikulam National Park is famous for its endangered Nilgiri Tahr, a mountain goat species. The park is known for its rolling hills, grasslands, and Neelakurinji flowers, which bloom once every twelve years, covering the hills in a purple hue. Visitors can explore the park on guided treks and spot various other wildlife species as well.
- Silent Valley National Park: Located in the Nilgiri Hills, Silent Valley National Park is known for its pristine rainforests and rich biodiversity. It is home to rare and endangered species like the Lion-tailed Macaque and the Nilgiri Langur. The park’s dense vegetation, gushing waterfalls, and serene atmosphere make it a paradise for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
- Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary: Situated in the Palakkad district, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area that shares borders with the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu. It is known for its teak plantations, tranquil reservoirs, and diverse wildlife. Visitors can take guided safaris, go trekking, or indulge in bamboo rafting to explore the sanctuary’s beauty and spot animals like elephants, gaurs, and tigers.
- Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary: Located in the Idukki district, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its unique ecosystem and dry deciduous forests. The sanctuary is home to a variety of wildlife, including the endangered Grizzled Giant Squirrel, Indian Star Tortoise, and several species of birds. Trekking, bird watching, and nature walks are popular activities for visitors here.
- Thattekad Bird Sanctuary: Known as the “Birdwatcher’s Paradise,” Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is located in the Ernakulam district. It is a haven for bird enthusiasts, offering opportunities to spot rare and migratory bird species. The sanctuary is situated along the banks of the Periyar River and is home to the Malabar Grey Hornbill, Crimson-backed Sunbird, and several other avian species.
These wildlife sanctuaries provide a glimpse into Kerala’s rich natural heritage and offer visitors a chance to explore the diverse ecosystems and encounter fascinating wildlife. It is important to follow the rules and regulations of each sanctuary to ensure the conservation and protection of the flora and fauna.