Sanctuaries of Tamilnadu
Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary

AREA: Mudumalai 32,155 hectares

ESTABLISHED: Mudumalai, 1940 as a sanctuary.Mudumalai wildlife reserve is a continuation of the Bandipur National Park. The river Moyar that flows along the border or Tamil Nadu and Karnataka separates the two. The Mysore - Ooty highway runs through the park. The 321 sq. km. reserve is situated in Tamil Nadu. Mudumalali wildlife reserve was the first sanctuary in south India. The terrain is extremely varied with hills, valleys, ravines, watercourses and swamps. The vegetation comprises of tropical moist deciduous forests, dry deciduous forests and scrub forests. Compared to the nearby reserves, the climate is warmer in Mudumalai. Langur, bonnet macaque, tiger, leopard, wild dog, hyena, jackal, sloth bear, elephants, gaur, sambar, spotted deer, Indian muntjac, mouse deer, wild boar, rodent and flying squirrel are part of the wildlife in Mudumalai. It has a rich bird life that includes Malabar trogan, Grey hornbill, crested hawk eagle, crested serpent eagle, etc. The best time to visit the reserve is from February to June. The sanctuary can be reached by road. The nearest railway station is Udakamandalam. The nearest airport is Coimbatore. Accommodation can be arranged at forest rest house, guesthouses at Masinagudi, Kargudi, Abhayaranyam and Theppakkadu.

FLORA: The vegetation is quite varied in this region. The hilly terrain of the Western Ghats, clothed in dense mixed and moist deciduous forests, make Mudumalai (the ancient hills) a most attractive wildlife reserve. Bamboos (Bambusa Arundinacea) Natural teak (Tectona Grandis), Anogeissus latifolia, Terminalia, Crenulata/Terminalia Tomontosa, Grewia, and blooming trees like Indian Labumusum, Aredesia, Solanancea are some of the flora.

FAUNA: The fauna include Elephants, Gaur, Banner, Macaque, Common Langur, Tigers, Leopards, Chital, Panther, Sloth Bear, Python, Barking Deer, Four Horned Antelope, Otter, Crocodiles (Mugger), Giant Flying Squirrel, Sambar, Hyena, Wild Dog, Wild Boar, Mouse Deer, Spotted Deer, Jackal, Hare, Porcupine and Mongoose.

The birds listed in this sanctuary are Peacock-our National bird, Grey Jungle Fowl, Red Spur Fowl, Grey Partridge Quails, Goggle Eyed Plower, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Large Racket-Tailed Dronge, The Magpie-robin, Spotted Babbler, Small Green Barbet, Green Pigeons, Brown Dove, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Bulbuls, Mynahs, etc. Among birds of prey, Eagles, Hawks, Buzzards, Harriers, Falcons and King Vulture are predominant, besides some migratory water birds.


Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park

Spread over 958 sq kms, this sanctuary can be reached though Topslip in Anamalai Hills on the Western Ghats. An ecological Paradise, this sanctuary encompasses a National Park with an area of 108 sq kms. About 800 species out of 2000 South Indian Flora are distributed here. This sanctuary nurtures Arboreal animals like lion tailed macaque, bonnet macaque, common Langur, Nilgiris langur, Malabar Giant squirrel and Grizzled Giant Squirrel. The ground animals listed are: Tiger, Panther, Elephant, Gaur, Pangolin, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Mouse Deer, Wild boar, Dhole, Sloth Bear, Porcupine, Nilgiris Tahr, Civet Cat and Taddy Cat. The Avifauna includes Racket Tailed Drongo, Black Headed Oriole, Paradise Fly-catche, Whistling Thrush, Emerald Dove, Green pigeon, Tickell's Flower Pecker, Rufus Wood Pecker, Rose Ringed Parakeet, Black Eagle, Great Indian, Malabar pied HornBill, Fiary Blue Bird and green billed malkhoha etc.


Mundanthurai Wild Life Sanctuary

Located on the high altitudes of the Nilgiris, comprising rolling downs interspersed with temperate sholas, this park is also a part of Nilgiri Bio-sphere reserve and situated 40 km from Udhagamandalam. It contains a viable population on Nilgiri Tahr (Hamitragus-hilocrius), Sambhar, Barking deer, Nilgiri marten and otter, Jungle cat, Jackal etc.

Avifauna consists of hill birds viz laughing and whistling thrushes, woodcock, wild pigeaon and black eagle. Butter-flies with Himalayan affinity like the Blu Admiral, Indian Red Admiral, Indian Fritillary, Indian Cabbage white, Hedge blues and rainbow trouts can be also be seen. Trekking routes exist from Parsan valley, portimund, pykara etc. Trout fishing is recommended in the rivers and lakes of Mukurthi. Permission from Asst. Director, Fisheries Department, Udhagai, must be obtained in advance for fishing.


Kalakkadu Wildlife Sanctuary

Kalakkadu Wild Life Sanctuary is situated in area of 223 sq kms in the Tirunelveli District, including the foothills of Western Ghats and the adjoining area. The flora ranges from forests of tropical wet ever-green to Tropical dry deciduous and thorn forest at down hills.

Lion tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Langur, Bonnet Macaque and Common Langur, Nilgiri Tahr, sambar, Sloth Bear, gaur, Elephant, Tiger, Flying Squirrel, Panther, Wild Dog, Pangoline are some of the wild life seen in the sanctuary. Besides, a wide range of birds and reptiles could be seen. Trekking can be done with prior permission from the Forest (Wildlife) Department.


Mundanthurai Wild Life Sanctuary

There is nothing to differentiate this sanctuary from that of Kalakkadu, except the absence of Elephant and the Gaur. Situated in the Tirunelveli district, This 567 sq km sanctuary boasts of dry deciduous to tropical wet evergreen forests patches of pure reeds.

Animal wealth includes Tiger, Bonnet macaque, Langurs, Slenders Loris, Sloth Bear, Sambhar, Chital and wild dog. Excellent for various species of avi-fauna and varities of reptiles and insects. Trekking with prior permission from the Forest (Wildlife) Department, along trekking trails can be undertaken.


Point Calimere Wild Life Sanctuary

Sprawling on 17.26 sq km surrounded by sea and shore, comprising forests of tidal swamps, dry evergreen forests of mangroves, this sanctuary is situated in the Nagapattinam district. It is bestowed with population of varied wild life such as Chital, Wild boar, Bonnet macaque, Black Buck, Flamingoes, Teals, Gulls, Terns, Plavers and Stilts. Special attractions are close encounters with Dolphins and Turtles which often come quite close to the shore.


Srivilliputhur Grizzled Squirrel Wild Life Sanctuary

Located in the Virudhunagar District, 45 kms off Virudhunagar Town, this sanctuary has a composition of dry decidious forests, moist mixed decidious forests and grasslands. Grizzled Giant Squirrels are abound. Other interesting species are flying squirrel, Tree Shrew, Elephant, Lion-tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Tahr, Mouse Deer, Barking Deer, and many a species of birds. This sanctuary can be visited all through the year.


Guindy National Park

Guindy National Park is one of the prime visiting spots for those who come to Chennai during vacation period. It attracts visitors over three lakhs during a season. A recommended picnic spot for the entire family to spend a day amidst nature and return home joyfully in the evening. This park boasts of over 24 varieties of trees, for example, Anona Squamosa, Atlanta Monoplylla, Feronia Limonia, Azadirachta India, etc. to mention a few. Also more than 14 varieties of shrubs, over 14 types of mammals like elephant, antilope, spotted dear, jungle cat, toddy cat, Indian civet, etc. The park also accounts for over 37 varieties of birds, like black chested, black winged kite, honey buzzard, pariah kite, and so on. There are also many kinds of amphibians and snakes to add to the variety that is already available.


Vedanthangal And Karikali Bird Sanctuary

A grove of Barringtonia Acacia nilotica trees in a tank form part of the sanctuary. In addition dry evergreen scrub and thorn forests can also be seen. Both these sanctuaries are situated in the Kanchipuram district and sprawling in a 30 ha and 61 ha area respectively.

Vedanthangal is the oldest bird sanctuary in the country. This has been in existence presumably for more than 200 years. The villagers had documented their right, to protect the winged visitors to this sanctuary. The East India company had recognised and renewed their rights in the year 1858.

Breeding birds like Commorants, Egrets, Grey Heron, Open-billed Stork, Darter, Spoonbill, White Ibris, Night Herons, Grebes, Grey Pelican etc visit the sanctuary. The population of migratory birds included Garganey Teals, Shovellers, Pintails, Stills, Sandpiper's etc. Some of the resident birds listed are Coots and Moorhen, Terns. In all 115 species of birds have been recorded in this sanctuary.


Arignar Anna Zoological Park

This man made Zoological park situated on the outskirts of the Chennai Metropolitan, created out of the Reserve Forests of Vandalur. The forests are of Dry decidious and dry evergreen scrub type. It was in the year 1855 the first Zoo in India was established in Chennai, later on in 1979 shifted to this 510 ha sprawling complex. This Zoological park is said to be one of the biggest in the South East Asia. The wild life population are exhibited in a large open moated island type enclosures with simulated natural environment. More than 170 species of Mammals, Aviaries & reptiles are exhibited. Lion safari vehicle, Elephant ride, battery operated vehicles are some of the facilities available inside this park.


Viralimalai

This small town is situated south of Tiruchirapalli, is bestowed with a large number of wild Peacocks, which roam around the Murugan Temple situated here.


Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park

This is a marine Bio sphere, running along with coasts of Ramanathapuram and Tuthukudi (Tuticorin) Districts. The entire Gulf of Mannar abounds in distinguished marine life covering, 21 Islands and 623 ha. This National Park is full of coral reefs, Dugong, Turtles, Dolphins and Balano-glossus. Kurusalai Islands, off Manadapam boasts of a vast expanse of shallow waters. The presence of coral reef, flora and fauna here are in their virgin form. Dolphins could create euphoria to the tourists.