Eravikulam National Park

Eravikulam National Park

Eravikulam National Park is a 97 km² national park located along the Western Ghats in the Idukki district of Kerala in India, between 10º05'N - 10º20'N latitude and 77º0'E - 77º10'E longitude. See: map

The park is administered by the Kerala Department of Forests and Wildlife, Munnar Wildlife Division, together with the nearby Mathikettan Shola National Park, Anamudi Shola National Park, Pambadum Shola National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kurinjimala Sanctuary. The Western Ghats, Anamalai Sub-Cluster, including all of Eravikulam National Park, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.

Geography

The main body of the park consists of a high rolling hill plateau with a base elevation of about 2,000 m. The terrain consists of high altitude grasslands interspersed with sholas. Anamudi (2695 m, the highest peak in India south of the Himalayas is inside this park. Many perennial streams criss-cross the park. They merge together to form tributaries of the Periyar river and Chalakudiyar River on the west and the east flowing Cauvery River in Tamil Nadu. See:

Fauna

Twenty six species of mammals have been recorded in the park including the largest surviving population of Nilgiri tahr, estimated at about 750. Other ungulates are Gaur, Indian Muntjac and Sambar Deer. Golden Jackal, Jungle Cat, Wild dog, Dhole, leopard and tiger are the main predators. Some little known animals such as Nilgiri langur, Stripe-necked Mongoose, Indian Porcupine, Nilgiri Marten, small clawed otter, Ruddy Mongoose, and Funambulus sublineatus|Dusky striped squirrel are also found. Elephants make seasonal visits.

132 species of birds have been recorded which include endemics like Black-and-orange Flycatcher, Nilgiri Pipit, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon,Yellow-Throated Marten, White Bellied Shortwing, Nilgiri Verditer Flycatcher and Kerala Laughingthrush.

Endemic butterflies confined to the shola-grass land ecosystem like the Red Disk Bushbrown and Palni Fourwing are among 101 species in the park.

19 species of amphibians have been recorded in the Park.

Flora

Three major types of plant communities are found in the Park - grasslands, shrublands and forests. The terrain above 2000m is covered primarily by grasslands. However, there are numerous small patches of forests in hollows and gullies in these areas. The deeper valleys are extensively forested. Shrublands predominate along the bases of the cliffs and interspersed in rocky slab areas. The antibacterial Eupatorium glandulosum is found here.

Visitor Information

Six mini-buses are operated by park staff as part of the visitor-management programme as well as a pollution-control measure. Private vehicles are not allowed within the park. INR 35 is charged per head as an entry fee for Indian nationals. Foreign nationals are charged INR 200 per head. Littering is banned inside the park. Well formed security wing is working to protect the park day and night. For The park is accessible from Kochi (Kerala) and Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) airports, which are located at about 148 km and 175 km respectively. Munnar is the nearest town (13 km), well connected by roads from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The nearest railway station is Aluva in Kerala (120 km from Munnar) and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu (165 km).

References

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