Kerala in South India is repository of the numerous wildlife parks and sanctuaries endowed with rich flora and fauna. The dense tropical forests and the emerald green region of Western Ghats are home to many wildlife parks and sanctuaries and all covers an area of 2250 sq kms, making it truly a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers. The state has good number of wildlife parks and sanctuaries and all provide suitable ambiance to let the rich flora and fauna including the endangered birds, animals and insects to thrive.
The major wildlife parks and sanctuaries of Kerala are mentioned as below.
Eravikulam National Park
Spread over an area of 97 sq km in the sprawling and verdant Western Ghats in Idukki district in Kerala, Eravikulam National Park is a sanctuary set up with the initiative to conserve the endangered Nilgiri Tahr. The sanctuary is home to many wildlife animals and birds, but the main habitants are the Nilgiri Tahr and it is the only place where one can find the largest number of Tahr existing in the world. Other animals that can also be seen inside the park are Atlas Moth, Sambhar’s Gaurs, Lion Tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Tahr, Leopards and Tigers.
Best time to Visit: January and February are the best time to visit this sanctuary as during this time the days are pleasant.
Periyar National Park
Set in the Western Ghats in the state of Kerala, Periyar is the most popular national park which is quite popular for its rich flora and fauna. It is a well known tiger reserve, but most people visit this national park to enjoy the lovely view of the herds of elephants, picturesque beauty of the lake and the enchanting appeal of the nature. The National Park is treasure trove of rain forest, flora and rare fauna including the 50 different species of plants that have healing properties. Apart from Elephant while on a Periyar Wildlife tour one can also see various other species of wildlife animals like leopards, deer, goats, Nilgiri Tahr and wild goats. Bird and small creatures are also found abundantly inside the national park.
Best time to visit : October to June is the best time to visit this sanctuary.
Silent Valley National Park
Spread over 90sq km, Silent Valley National Park is probably the most beautiful wildlife sanctuary in Kerala, which is immensely gifted by the Mother Nature. Also known by the name Sairndhirivanam, it is the main attraction of Nilgiri Bio-Sphere and presents a unique example of tropical rainforest. The park is endowed with good amount of monsoon rainfall as in the west of the park it is bit rough and has rocky terrain while in south it gently slopes. The verdant greenery and the thick wooded, Silent Valley National Park is home to many wildlife species like Nilgiri Langur, bonnet macaque, tiger, leopard, ruddy mongoose, stripe necked mongoose, Indian Pangolin, Porcupine, spotted and barking deer, wild boar, etc. The park also has good number of avian population that include shaheen falcon, peninsular scops owl, short eared owl, great Indian hornbill, Nilgiri Blue Robin, White bellied Blue Flycatcher, crimson backed sunbird, Nilgiri pipit, Ceylong Frogmouth and Great Indian Hornbill.
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary
Idduki is an important wildlife sanctuary in Thodupuzha and Udumpanchola talukas of Idduki. It spreads over an area of 77 sq kms and is surrounded by Idduki reservoir from all the three sides, significant water shed area for the Idukki Hydro Electric Project. The sprawling wildlife sanctuary has provide home to many endangered and commonly found wild animals, birds, creatures as well varieties of plants and trees. Some of the most commonly spotted animals inside the sanctuary are barking deer, giant squirrel, porcupine, wild boar, common mongoose, jungle cat, wild dog, etc. Some birds like large wood shrike, golden oriole, blue winged parakeet and jungle babbler has made Idduki their home.
Beside these important wildlife parks and sanctuaries, there are many other Kerala wildlife sanctuaries which are equally important and are ideal for wildlife tours and safari. Few more to add to the lists are Aaralam Wildlife Sanctuary, Thattekkaad Bird Sanctuary, Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary, Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Peechi Vaazhaani Wildlife Sanctuary, Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary and Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary.