Kerala, God’s Own Country is the home to rich and wide variety of wildlife. The rare species of animals, birds, butterflies and marine life in Kerala is a unique and wonderful experience. Most of the wildlife in Kerala is confined to the wild life sanctuaries in Kerala. Apart from the wonderful beaches, backwaters and hills the wild life sanctuaries in Kerala is another popular tourist attraction. The wildlife sanctuaries provide shelter to various forms of wildlife and also offers the tourists an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the wildlife in the natural surroundings. Some of the species of animals present in the sanctuaries include lion-tailed macaque, Nilgiri Tahr, Leopards, Elephants, Tigers, Civet cats, monkeys, squirrels etc. Besides the wild animals there are so many variety of birds in these sanctuaries. Some of the important wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala are :
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the most important wildlife sanctuary in India is situated on the banks of Periyar lake. The sanctuary is renowned for the elephants. The dense evergreen forests and the grassland provides a favorable environment to the herds of elephants, sambars, tigers, gaurs, lion tailed macaques and Nilgiri langurs. In the sanctuary one can enjoy the elephant ride and can also go for trekking to the Mangaladevi temple.
Eravikulam National Park
The Eravikulam national park located about 15 km from Munnar is known for the endangered mountain goat of South India and the Nilgiri Tahr. Other major attractions of the Eravikulam National Park are the rolling grasslands and sholas, which spreads over 97 sq km in the Rajamalai hills. The highest peak of South India, Anamudi, is situated in here. The Eravikulam National Park is divided into three areas; the core area, the buffer area and the tourism area. Only the tourism area is allowed for visitors.
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary
The Aralam wildlife sanctuary located about a distance of 35 km from Thalassery is spread over 55 sq km of forested land on the slopes of the Western Ghats. The Sanctuary is home to a large variety of flora. The main fauna present at the Aralam wildlife sanctuary are boar, deer, elephant and bison while jungle cats, Leopards and various types of squirrels. Aralam Sanctuary is also known for the Central State Farm, which produces hybrid coconut seeds and is one of the main production centres in the country.
Begur Wildlife Sanctuary
The Begur wildlife sanctuary situated about 20 km from Mananthavady in Wayanad district is one of the most beautiful wildlife sanctuaries surrounded by lush green and dense forests. This sanctuary is a home to several species of animals like elephant, leopard, spotted deer, bison, tiger, bear and wild boar.
Silent Valley National Park
The Silent Valley National Park which covers an area of about 90 sq km is the heart of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The Park is home to a fragile and unique tropical evergreen rain forest. The important inhabitants in this park include rare birds, tiger and deer. Numerous other species of wildlife like butterflies, moths, Great Indian Hornbill; Lion tailed Macaque and the Nilgiri Laughing thrush are seen here.
Apart from the above listed there are so many wonderful wild life sanctuaries in Kerala . They are Wildlife Sanctuaries in Neyyar, Peppara, Peechi-Vazhani, Idukki, Chinnar, Muthanga, Wayanad, Nagarhole and Tholpetty, Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary, Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, Kadalundi Bird sanctuary, Pakshipathalam etc.