Eravikulam National Park
|Eravikulam National Park|
Neelakurinji flowers in bloom and Naikolli Mala peak
|Location||Idukki, Kerala, India|
|Visitors||148,440 (in 2001)|
|Governing body||Department of Forests and Wildlife, Government of Kerala|
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.It is the first national park in kerala.
Eravikulam National 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. Eravikulam National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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, 2,695 meters, the highest peak in India south of the Himalayas is inside this park. Many perennial streams criss-cross the park. They merge to form tributaries of the Periyar river in the west and of the Cauvery River in the east. See:. Lakkom Water falls is in this region.
Twenty six species of mammals have been recorded in the park including the largest surviving population of Nilgiri tahr, estimated at about 750 individuals. The 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 dusky palm 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, white bellied shortwing, Nilgiri flycatcher and Kerala laughingthrush.
19 species of amphibians have been recorded in the park.
New species of frog found
A new bright reddish-orange-coloured frog with multiple glands and extremely short limbs has been discovered in the Eravikulam National Park. The newly discovered species is restricted to less than three km2 on the peak of Anamudi and deserves immediate conservation priority, scientists S.D. Biju of Delhi University and Franky Bossuyt of the Free University of Brussels said in Current Science. The frog has been assigned the name Raorchestes resplendens. This frog, as compared to all other members of the genus, has multiple prominent glandular swellings: laterally behind the eyes, on the side of the dorsum, on the anterior side of the vent, on the dorsal side of the forearms and shanks, and on the posterior side of tarsus and metatarsus. Additional distinguishing characteristics include the colour of the iris (which is bright red), and extremely short legs.
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.
Prior to 1971, the area was managed as a game preserve by the Kanan Devan Hills Produce Company. The government of Kerala resumed control in 1971 (Kannan Devan Hill Produce (Resumption of lands) Act, 1971), and declared the Eravikulam-Rajamala Wildlife Sanctuary in 1975 to protect the habitat of the endangered Nilgiri tahr. It became a National Park in 1978.
- Eravikulam National Park
- K.S. Sudhi (3 November 2006) The Hindu, retrieved 21 June 2007 New lives bloom in Rajamala
- UNESCO, World Heritage site List, Western Ghats
- Eravikulam National Park – Map (2004) Nilgiri Tahr Trust, retrieved 20 June 2007 Map
- UNEP (05/07/2007) World Commission on Protected Areas, World Database on Protected Areas, Eravikulam National Park, Retrieved 7 May 2007 
- The Hindu – New species of frog found in Eravikulam National Park dt. 6 May 2010 
- S.D Biju; Yogesh Shouche; Alain Dubois; S.K. Dutta; Franky Bossuyt (2010). "A ground-dwelling rhacophorid frog from the highest mountain peak of the Western Ghats of India". Current Science 98 (8): 1119–1125.
- "Management Plan", Erivikulam National Park. Accessed 3 August 2014
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