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Current Affairs

Eravikulam National Park

Date: 04 March 2020 Tags: National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary

Issue

The Eravikulam National Park is one of the last surviving habitat of Nilgiri Tahr, a species of mountainous goat endemic to Nilgiris.

 

Background

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.

 

Details

  • Eravikulam National Park is a national park located along the Western Ghats in the Idukki district of Kerala . It is the first national park in Kerala.

  • 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.

  • 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 lion-tailed macaques, 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.

  • Endemic butterflies confined to the shola-grass land ecosystem like the red disk bushbrown and Palni fourring are among the 101 species in the park.

  • Three major types of plant communities are found in the Park i.e grasslands, shrublands and forests. The terrain above 2000m is covered primarily by grasslands.