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ECO-TOURISM


One of the main livelihood opportunities identified by the EDCs (Ecodevelopment Committees) and Park Managements is Ecotourism. This was arrived through participatory micro level discussions and planning. This is due to the fact that most important resource of Ecotourism is Forests and Wildlife. Another reason will be the already existing tourism presence near the PAs and awareness of its scope

CHINNAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the rain shadow areas of the High Ranges of Southern Western Ghats in Kerala. It was declared a PA in August 1984 and is 90.442 sq.km. in area. Chinnar wildlife Sanctuary is one of the important PAs in Western Ghats due to its ecological, floral and geomorphological signifiances. It falls between 10° 15' to 10° 21' north latitude and 77° 05' to 77° 16' east longitude.

CHIMMONY WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

Located near Trissur, this Protected Area is only two hour's drive from Kochi. It is 100 sq. km. in area and has an incredible animal, bird and butterfly diversity. The PA has a mosaic of West coast tropical evergreen forest, West coast semi-evergreen forest and South Indian moist deciduous forest. Explore the wilderness of Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary by Trekking and camping in the wilderness of this Protected Area. Our naturalist and ecoguides from the local indigenous community will accompany you and ensure that you have a quality experience. Chimmony has most of the animals, birds and butterfly species found in the Southern Western Ghats but unlike the more famous PAs of Southern Western Ghats, Chimmony is not crowded with day-trippers and picnickers. Once into the jungle you may not see a human. The best season to visit the PA is from September to March.

PEECHI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
Peechi wildlife sanctuary is 100 kms away from Ernakulam. The terrain is undulating and the elevation varies from 45m to 900m. The vegetation of the Sanctuary is dominated by the moist deciduous forest and semi-evergreen forests, which are confined to the upper reaches. Luxuriant vegetation is quiet evident and about 1000 flowering plants are recorded. There are at least 50 species of orchids and a wide variety of medicinal plants. 25 species of mammals and 60 species of birds as well as 10 species of reptiles are recorded from the area.
THATTEKAD BIRD SANCTUARY

Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary is the only bird sanctuary in the State of Kerala. In the early 1930s during his Travancore-Cochin Bird survey Dr. Salim ali, the Legendary Ornithologist had remarked that the species richness of Thattekkad particularly birds is one of the richest he had seen. He recorded 167 species in 1930. A recent survey claims 270 species in the area. Thattekkad was declared a Bird Sanctuary in 1983. The total extent of the sanctuary is 25.16 sq. kms. It falls between 70° 40' and 76° 45' east longitude and 10° 7' and 11° north latitude.

PERIYAR TIGAR RESERVATION

Periyar Tiger Reserve is the oldest and largest Protected Area in Kerala. It is 777sq. km. in area. The 28 sq. km. Periyar Lake around which the Protected Area is situated was formed when a dam was built across River Periyar in 1895. The forest around the lake was declared as Nellikkampetty Game Sanctuary in 1934. In 1950 the Nellikkampetty Game Sanctuary was enlarged into the 777sq.km. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. It became a Tiger Reserve in 1978. In 1982, the first notification declaring the core zone (350sq. km.) of Periyar Tiger Reserve as a National Park was issued. PTR and its surrounding forests form the largest chunk of

 

tropical rainforests in Western Ghats. It lies between latitudes 9 degree 15’ S and 9 degree 40’ N and longitudes 76 degree 55’ W and 77 degree 25’ E. PTR is arguably the most visited PA in India.

Sixty-three species of mammals have been recorded from PTR. Periyar has a good population of Asiatic elephants (about 900-1000). The checklist of birds has 323 species. All the Western Ghats endemics except the Nilgiri laughing thrush are found here. Out of the 119 species of butterflies recorded, 20 are Western Ghat endemics.
PTR pioneered community-based ecotourism in India. There are several programmes run by local communities. A visitor can choose from an early morning trek to a 2 nights & 3 days camping and trekking in the jungles to a daylong bamboo raft ride. Some of these programmes have won prestigious ecotourism awards.

SILENT VALLEY NATIONAL PARK

Journey with us into the cradle of evolution, the Silent Valley National Park in Palakkad District of Kerala. Experience the awe of being in the most pristine stretch of primordial rainforest of Western Ghats. Be one of the few to experience a primary Indian Rainforest. Silent Valley is estimated to have a record of not less than 50 million years of evolution. It holds one of the just viable breeding populations of Liontailed Macaques, a true arborial monkey which is highly endangered. Silent Valley is 4 hours from Cochin by road . Best season: October to May.

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