The cultural heritage of the South Indian state of Kerala is well known and apart from the scenic geographical assets like sunny beaches, cool, hill stations and unique Backwaters, the state boasts a spectacular array of wildlife. Such a rare confluence of human civilization and unspoiled nature is Kerala that it was quoted as one of the ‘Ten real paradises of the world’, a list compiled by the National Geographic Society. Flora and fauna of Kerala has enchanted travelers and tourists from around the world as ‘God’s Own Country’

The geographical, especially topographical setting of Kerala is vital to its natural diversity and preservation of its habitats. Most of the human civilization is huddled along and near the coastline to the west, leaving dense forests and scattered settlements to the eastern frontiers of the state. Reason for this is the towering Western Ghats, in the east. These mountains have provided several benefits, for example, the monsoon borne rains stop and lighten themselves before crossing over the mountains, which gives rise to abundant rivers. Apart from that in an area of only 2625 sq km (of the foothills of Western Ghats), are fourteen of India’s best wildlife sanctuaries and some of the ecological hotspots of the world.

These dense tropical jungles make for some complex ecological systems as well as favored tourist destinations, with a niche for adventure. Many people come to Kerala wilderness, to witness its splendor on a Jungle Safari (usually on a trusty Elephant) and thrill seekers flock the rapid white waters and gorges for some rafting. The diversity of the fauna concentrated in such a small area has led to its active protection and preservation.

The dense forests of Kerala are home to some rare species of animals and also to the common inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent, like elephants, tigers, leopards, gaurs, Nilgiri Tahr, porcupine, Hanuman langur, wild dogs, bison, mongoose, wild boars, lion-tailed macaque, sloth, barking deer, mouse deer, and civet cats. Coexisting with these land-dwellers are a variety of birds, spread over tree covers, from the western Ghats to the backwaters, especially the backwaters are home to a fascinating species of moths and butterflies; and to name a few birds like the Malabar cormorants, hornbills, woodpeckers, kingfishers, Brahminy and darters. 

Major Animals in the Sanctuaries of Kerala

Tiger, Leopard, Elephants, Bear, Gaur Bison, Jungle Cats, Wild Boar, Sambar, Barking Deer, Spotted Deer, Sloth, Hanuman Langurs, Flying Squirrel, Pangolins, Grizzled Giant Squirrels, Bonnet , Lion Tailed Macaques, Nilgiri Tahr, Loris, Atlas Moth, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Mongoose, Peacock, Star Tortoise and many more.

The Reptiles found in the sanctuaries of Kerala are:

Poisonous and non-poisonous snakes like the Viper, Krait, Spectacled Cobra, Rat Snake, Green Keelback Vine Snake, turtles like the Varner Pond Terrapin, Cane, Python, Crocodile, Monitor lizard and so on.

Main Birds Seen in the Sanctuaries of Kerala are:

Kerala is home to over 253 species of birds including migratory birds that visit annually. Some, to name, are the Egret, Migratory Siberian Duck, Laughing Thrush, Malabar Trogon, Black Bulbul, Cormorant, Peafowl, Indian Roller, Raptor, Baya Sparrow, Grackle, Indian Hill Myna, Grey Drongo, Large Pied Wagtail, Sunbirds, Crimson-throated Barbet, Fairy Bluebird, the Grey, Night Heron, Shrike, Grey-Headed Fishing Eagle, Black-Winged Kite and Malabar hornbill.

Main Flora in the Sanctuaries of Kerela is:

The flora of Kerala is even richer with 171 grasses, 143 orchids and total over 1800 angiosperms. The Bamboo, Teak, Maruthu, Karimaruthi, Rosewood, Vengal, Chadachi, Mazhukanjiram, Neem, Nanjanathi, Sandalwood, Marythu, Vaka, Mulluvenka, Elavu, Pala, Vembu are some of the common trees.

The Most Popular Wildlife National Parks in Kerala are:

  • Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Idduki National Park
  • Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary
  • Silent Valley National Park
  • Wayanad Wildlife Reserve


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