Protected areas of Kerala

Kerala even though a small land with a length of 560 Km and breadth of 5o Km, it has a lot of Protected areas. The presence of large number of protected areas in Kerala is because the whole of eastern side of Kerala is the Western Ghats. Kerala has a total of 2 Biosphere Reserves, 6 National Parks, about 20 Wild Life Sanctuaries, 2 Tiger Reserves, 6 Bird Sanctuaries, 4 Elephant Reserves, a Lion Safari Park, a Butterfly Safari Park, a Community Reserve and a Reserve Forest.

The protected areas of Kerala include a wide range of biomes, extending east from the coral reefs, estuaries, salt marshes, mangroves and beaches of the Arabian Sea through the tropical moist broadleaf forests of the Malabar Coast moist forests to the North Western Ghats moist deciduous forests and South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests to South Western Ghats montane rain forests on the western border of Tamil Nadu in the Western Ghats. Most protected areas throughout its 14 districts are under the stewardship of the Kerala Forest Dept. and like all other protected areas of India receive support from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (India).

Biosphere Reserves

Biosphere Reserves in Kerala

Biosphere Reserves in Kerala

Kerala has 2 biosphere reserves. They are the Neelagiri Biosphere Reserve established in 1986 with an area of 5,520 km2 and the Agasthyamala Biosphere reserve established in 2001 with an area of 3,500 km2.

Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve includes parts of Wynad, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Mudumalai, Nilambur, Silent Valley and Siruvani Hills in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Mudumalai wild life sanctuary and national park (321.1 km²), Wayanad wildlife sanctuary ( 344km²), Bandipur national park (874km²), Nagarhole national park (643 km²), Nugu wild life sanctuary, Mukurthi national park (78 km²) and Silent Valley national park (89.52km²) are protected areas within this reserve.

The Agasthyamala Biosphere reserve covers parts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Pathanamthitta Districts in Kerala and Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari Districts in Tamil Nadu. The Neyyar Wild Life Sanctuary, Peppara Wild Life Sanctuary and Shendaruni Wild Life Sanctuary and Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve of Tamil Nadu are part of the Agasthyamala Biosphere reserve.

National Parks

Kerala has a total of 6 National parks and 5 of them are in Idukki District with one spread over to Pathanamthitta District also and one in Palakkad District. The Periyar National Park is the Largest among them which is spread over Idukki and Pathanamthitta District. The Silent Valley National Park in Palakkad District and all other are completely inside Idukki District. They are Eravikulam National Park, Anamudi Shola National Park, Mathikettan Shola National Park, Pampadum Shola National Park. It also has a proposed Karimpuzha National Park.

Wild Life Sanctuaries

Kerala is blessed with a lot of wild Life Sanctuaries including Tiger Reserves, Elephant Sanctuaries, Bird Sanctuaries etc. and it protects a wide variety of endangered flora and fauna.

Tiger Reserves

Tiger Reserves in Kerala

Tiger Reserves in Kerala

Out of the 50 Tiger Reserves in the Country Kerala has two of them and they are the Periyar Tiger Reserve and Parambikulam Tiger Reserve. Periyar Tiger Reserve is one of the best preserved forest regions, covering an area of 925 Sq. Km is home to rare, endemic and endangered flora and fauna and forms the major watershed of two important rivers of Kerala, the Periyar and the Pamba. Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is a well-protected ecological portion in the Nelliampathy – Anamalai landscape of the Southern Western Ghats in India. It is located in the Palakkad District of Kerala.

Bird Sanctuaries

Bird Sanctuary in Kerala

Bird Sanctuary in Kerala

Kerala has almost 6 Bird Sanctuaries including Thattekad Bird Sanctuary, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary, Arippa Bird Sanctuary and Choolannor Bird Sanctuary.

Elephant Reserves

Elephant Reserves in Kerala

Elephant Reserves in Kerala

Out of the 32 Elephant Reserves in the country (as of 2010) 4 of them are in Kerala and they are Wayanadu, Nilambur, Aanamdi and Periyar. Wayanad elephant Reserve established in 2002 with a total area of 1200 sq,Km has 636 elephants, Nilambur established in 2002 with a total area of 1419 sq.Km has 281 elephants, Anamudi established in 2002 with a total area of 3728 sq.Km has 1547 elephants and Periyar established in 2002 with a total area of 3743 sq.Km has 1100 elephants.

Lion Safari Park

Lion Safari Park in Kerala

Lion Safari Park in Kerala

The Lion Safari Park in Kerala is in the Thiruvananthapuram District in the Marakunnam Island in the Neyyar Wild life Sanctuary.

Butterfly Safari Park

The Butterfly Safary Park in Kerala is located at Thenmala and is part of the Thenmala Eco Tourism.

Community Reserve

Kadalundy Vallikunnu Community Reserve is formed in 2007 with an area of 1.5 sq.Km and is spread in the Kozhikkode and Malappuram Districts of Kerala. The Kadalundi estuary is located at the mouth of the river Kadalundi that drains into the Arabian Sea onthe west coast of Kerala. Apart from scattered patches of mangroves, the estuary is bordered by human habitation and coconut groves. A total of 110 species of water birds including 53 migrants have been recorded.

Reserve Forest

Reserve Forests are man-made forests or forests that are planted by man. The main reserve forests in Kerala are Attapadi Reserve Forest in the Palakkad District of Kerala and the New Amarambalam Reserved Forest

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