Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary

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Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Valley View Parambikulam 02.jpg
Parambikulam Tiger Reserve
Map showing the location of Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
Map showing the location of Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary
Location Palakkad District, Kerala, India
Nearest city Palakkad (90 km)[1]
Coordinates 10°23′0″N 76°42′30″E / 10.38333°N 76.70833°E / 10.38333; 76.70833Coordinates: 10°23′0″N 76°42′30″E / 10.38333°N 76.70833°E / 10.38333; 76.70833
Area 285 square kilometres (110 sq mi)
Established 1973
Governing body Kerala Forest Dept.
Website www.parambikulamresorts.com

Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary is a 285 square kilometres (110 sq mi) protected area in Chittur taluk in Palakkad district of Kerala state, South India. Established in 1973, it is in the Sungam range of hills between the Anaimalai Hills and Nelliampathy Hills.[2][3][4] The Western Ghats, Anamalai Sub-Cluster, including all of Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.[5] The sanctuary is the home of four different tribes of indigenous peoples including the Kadar, Malasar, Muduvar and Mala Malasar settled in six colonies. Parambikkulam Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as part of the 391 square kilometres (151.0 sq mi)[1] Parambiculam Tiger Reserve on February 19, 2010.[6] [7] [8]

Geography[edit]

The sanctuary is located between Longitude:76° 35’- 76° 50’ E, and Latitude:10° 20’ – 10° 26’ N. It is 135 kilometres (84 mi) from Palakkad town and adjacent to the Annamalai Wildlife Sanctuary to the east in Tamil Nadu. It is bordered to the north by Nemmara Forest Division, to the south by Vazhachal Forest Division and the west by Chalakudy Forest Division. The sanctuary has a hornblende, biotite, gneiss and charnockite geology.

Altitude ranges between 300 m and 1438 m. There is a 600 m elevation opening through the Nelliampathy hills from Anamalai hills on the northern boundary of the sanctuary at Thoothampara. Major peaks in the sanctuary are Karimala (1438 m) in the southern boundary of the sanctuary, Pandaravarai (1290 m) in the north, Kuchimudi, Vengoli Malai (1120 m) in the eastern boundary and Puliyarapadam (1010 m) in the west.

The sanctuary has three man-made reservoirs; Parambikulam, Thunacadavu and Peruvaripallam, with a combined area of 20.66 km2. The Thuvaiar water falls empty into one of the reservoirs. There are 7 major valleys and 3 major rivers, the Parambikulam, the Sholayar and the Thekkedy. The Karappara river and Kuriarkutty river also drain the area.

Visitor information[edit]

View of Parambikulam Reservoir from tree-house

Trekking in the forest is allowed with prior permission and only if accompanied by an experienced forest guide. People who are found trekking or driving in the tiger reserve without an experienced forest guide are subject to prosecution. Nature enthusiasts are also taken on a short trip on bamboo rafts powered by oarsmen as part of the safari. Power boats are not allowed, to avoid polluting the lake which is a source of drinking water. While the local inhabitants are allowed to boat and fish on the lake, visitors are not allowed to boat by themselves on the reservoir. The Kannimara Thekku Teak Tree, which is said to be Asia's largest, is here near Thoonakkadavu village. There is a tree-house in the Reserve Forest area in Thoonakkadavu, the headquarters of Parambikkulam, which has to be booked in advance. The rest houses of the State Forest Department at Thoonakkadavu, Thellikkal and Elathode offer comfortable lodging.[9]

Parambikkulam is only accessible by road from Pollachi, Tamil Nadu. Pollachi to Parambikkulam is about 65 km. The nearest railway station is at Pollachi and the nearest airport is at Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, about 40 km from Pollachi.

Fauna[edit]

Wild Guars blocking passing vehicles.

The sanctuary has a rich diversity of animal life including: Mammals 39 species, Amphibians 16 sp., Birds 268 sp., Reptiles 61 sp., Fish 47 sp., Insects 1049 sp. and Butterflies 124 sp.

Flora[edit]

Kannimara Teak

The sanctuary has a variety of trees mainly teak, neem, sandalwood and rosewood. Even the oldest ever teak tree, Kannimara Teak exists here. It is about 450 years old and has a girth of 6.8 metres (22 ft) and a height of 49.5 metres (162 ft). It won the Mahavriksha Puraskar given by the Indian Government.

Threats[edit]

In April 2007 a wild fire in parts of Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary and the adjoining Nelliampathy forests destroyed hundreds of acres of forest tracts and plantations. Fires were caused by unemployed firewatchers and honey gatherers.

One of the reasons for the fires was the lack of pre-monsoon rain in the area. The area used to get rain in during January, February, March and April. This year, there was only 4 mm rain in January and after that there was no rain. Nelliampathy was facing an unprecedented drought this summer. The temperature reached 34oC in April when the average high is usually 26oC.[13]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b GMap (Google) https://www.google.co.in/maps/dir/Palakkad,+Kerala/Parambikulam+Tiger+Reserve,+Anappady,+Thunakadavu+P.O,+Parambikulam,+Kerala+678+661/@10.5900019,76.6475489,11z/data=!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x3ba86dfa087d31ad:0xf542d6eb7a870a56!2m2!1d76.6547932!2d10.7867303!1m5!1m1!1s0x3ba81db91f990ee1:0xbe2bd65c610576c4!2m2!1d76.775622!2d10.392858 |url= missing title (help) 
  2. ^ Parambikkulam Forest Development Agency.official website
  3. ^ Wildlife Institute of India, "State/UT Wise Details of Protected Areas" ENVIS
  4. ^ T R Shankar Raman, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore Rediscovery of the Oriental Bay-Owl
  5. ^ UNESCO, World Heritage sites, Tentative lists, Western Ghats sub cluster, Niligiris. retrieved 4/20/2007 World Heritage sites, Tentative lists
  6. ^ staff (2010-02-20), "Parambikulam Tiger Reserve opened", The Hindu, retrieved 2011-01-19 
  7. ^ "Parambikulam Tiger Reserve to be inaugurated on Feb. 17". Palakkad: The Hindu. 2009-11-24. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  8. ^ "Parambikkulam likely to become a tiger reserve soon". The Hindu. October 3, 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  9. ^ Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala "Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary", retrieved Mar 24, 2007 Department of Tourism
  10. ^ "Checklist of Fish Fauna" (pdf). Parambikulam Tiger Reserve. Retrieved 2014-11-29. 
  11. ^ Kerala Information & Public Relations Department, PARAMBIKULAM WILDLIFE SANCTUARY, retrieved 5/11/2007 PARAMBIKULAM WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
  12. ^ amphibians
  13. ^ Prabhakaran G. (4/9/2007) Fire engulfs Parambikulam, Nelliampathy forests, The Hindu, retrieved 6/12/2007 Fire

External links[edit]