Tamil Nadu National Parks, Tiger Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries & Ramsar Sites
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Annamalai (Indira Gandhi) National Park, Tiger Reserve, Wildlife Sanctuary
- It is located in the Anaimalai Hills.
- Vegetation: Wet evergreen forest to shola grassland.
- Major Fauna: Bengal tiger, Indian elephant, Indian leopard, Nilgiri tahr, lion-tailed macaque, gaur, Nilgiri langur.
- Threats: Tea and coffee plantations and tourism.
Guindy National Park
- It is an extension of the grounds surrounding Raj Bhavan.
- Guindy Snake Park and IIT Madras are located at the periphery of Guindy National Park. The Madras Crocodile Bank Trust is only 30 km away from Guindy National Park.
- Vegetation: tropical dry evergreen forest, dry evergreen scrub and thorn forest.
- Major Fauna: Blackbucks, chital, jackals, etc.
- Blackbuck is considered the flagship species of the park.
Madras Crocodile Bank Trust
- It is a reptile zoo and research station on the outskirts of Chennai. It was established to save Indian EN species of crocodile – the marsh or mugger crocodile (VU), the saltwater crocodile (LC), and the gharial (CR).
- The place offers a secure nesting beach for olive ridleys.
Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
- It consists of 21 small islands (islets) and adjacent coral reefs. It is the core area of the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve.
- It includes marine components such as coral reefs, seaweed, seagrasses, salt marshes and mangroves.
- Major Marine Fauna: Dugong (Sea Cow), Green turtles, Olive Ridley turtles. Dugong (VU), a marine mammal, is the flagship mammal of the park.
- Threats: Tourism, coral mining, illegal fishing, illegal mechanized fishing.
Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve
- It forms part of the Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve.
- Agasthiyamalai Hill Range is the core zone of the Tiger Reserve.
- Major Fauna: Tiger, leopard, elephant, gaur, sambar, chital, Nilgiri tahr, mouse deer, lion-tailed macaque.
Mudumalai National Park, Tiger Reserve, Wildlife Sanctuary
- It lies on the north-western side of the Nilgiri Hills (Blue Mountains), in Nilgiri district. It shares its boundaries with the states of Karnataka and Kerala.
- Vegetation: tropical moist deciduous, dry deciduous and dry thorn forests.
- Major Fauna: Indian elephant, Bengal tiger,leopard, bonnet macaque, sloth bear, sambar, Indian giant squirrel.
- Avian Major Fauna: Indian white-rumped vulture (CR) and India Vulture (CR).
- Threats: Tourism and invasive species such as Lantana.
Mukurthi National Park
- It is located within Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The National Park was created to protect its keystone species, the Nilgiri tahr (EN).
- Vegetation: Montane grasslands and shrublands interspersed with sholas.
- Major Fauna: Nilgiri tahr, Indian elephant, Bengal tiger, Nilgiri marten, Nilgiri langur.
- Threats: Invasive species like wattle species, eucalyptus.
Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, Wildlife Sanctuary
- It is located in the Eastern Ghats.
- Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve = Sathyamangalam + Hasanur Forest Divisions.
- It is a wildlife corridor in the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve between the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats and a genetic link between BR Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, Mudumalai National Park and Bandipur National Park.
- Vegetation: Dry deciduous forest and grasslands.
- Major Fauna: Bengal tiger, elephant, gaur, leopard, spotted deer, blackbuck, sambar deer, barking deer.
- Threats: Rampant poaching of tigers and elephants.
Srivilliputhur-Megamalai Tiger Reserve
- It was created by combining Srivilliputhur Grizzled Giant Squirrel Sanctuary and Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary.
- The biggest beneficiary is the dying Vaigai River (that drains to the Palk Strait). The formation of Tiger Reserve has kept the rivers perennial in the region.
- It is a part of the Bramhagiri-Nilgiris-Eastern Ghats ER.
- It provides crucial breeding and home for tigers straying out of neighbouring Periyar Tiger Reserve and the Anamalai Tiger Reserve.
Wildlife Sanctuaries of Tamil Nadu
Cauvery North Wildlife Sanctuary
- It is located to north of the Cauvery river. It comes under the Melagiri Hill ranges.
- It is a wildlife corridor where it forms the vital link to the Male Mahadeshwara Hills (Karnataka), Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Hills (Karnataka), Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuary (Tamil Nadu) and Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
Cauvery South Wildlife Sanctuary
- Grizzled giant squirrel, four-horned antelope, and lesser fish eagle which are exclusively dependent on the Cauvery river and its riverine forest ecosystem are found here.
Chitrangudi Bird Wildlife Sanctuary
- It is located in Ramanathapuram district; adjacent to Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary.
Gangaikondam Spotted Dear Wildlife Sanctuary
- It is located in Tirunelveli district. It is a major habitat of spotted deer (chital; LC) outside the Western Ghats.
Kadavur Slender Loris Wildlife Sanctuary
- Tamil Nadu notified India’s first slender loris sanctuary in 2022. Slender Loris are small nocturnal mammals that are arboreal. They are native to India and Sri Lanka.
- IUCN: Red Slender Loris (Sri Lanka): EN | Grey Slender Loris (Eastern & Western Ghats and Sri Lanka): NT
Kanyakumari Wildlife Sanctuary
- The area is a tiger habitat. It is to the south of Kalakad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.
Karaivetti Bird Wildlife Sanctuary
- It is located close to the left bank of Kollidam River. The Kollidam (Coleroon) River is the northern distributary of the Kaveri River. It flows through the delta of Thanjavur.
Karikilli Birds Wildlife Sanctuary
- It is located in Kancheepuram District; close to the confluence of Palar and Cheyyar Rivers, south of Chennai.
Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary
- It covers forests of Palani Hills of Dindigul and Theni.
Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary
- Located in Western Ghats in Theni district, it acts as buffer to Periyar Tiger Reserve and Srivilliputhur Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary.
Oussudu Lake Bird Sanctuary
- It spreads in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu.
Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary
- It is located at the south-eastern tip of Nagapattinam district. It was created for conservation of blackbuck (LC) (one of the four antelope species in India – Chinkara, Chausingha and Nilgai being the other three).
Pulicat Lake Bird Wildlife Sanctuary
- It is located in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh and Thiruvallur district of Tamil Nadu.
Srivilliputhur Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary
- It was established to protect grizzled giant squirrel (NT).
- Srivilliputhur-Megamalai Tiger Reserve = Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary + Srivilliputhur Wildlife Sanctuary.
- It is contiguous to Periyar Tiger Reserve (Kerala) and Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary.
Vellanadu Blackbuck Wildlife Sanctuary
- It is located in Thoothukudi district. It is created for the protection of blackbuck (LC) antelope.
- Kanjirankulam Bird Wildlife Sanctuary: Ramanathapuram district.
- Koonthankulam-Kadankulam Wildlife Sanctuary (IBA): Tirunelveli district.
- Melaselvanoor-Keelaselvanoor Wildlife Sanctuary (BS): Ramanathapuram district.
- Nellai Wildlife Sanctuary: Tirunelveli district.
- Sakkarakottai Bird Sanctuary: Ramanathapuram district.
- Theerthangal Bird Sanctuary: Ramanathapuram district.
- Udayamarthandapuram Lake Wildlife Sanctuary: Tiruvarur district.
- Vaduvoor Birds Wildlife Sanctuary: Vaduvoor lake, near Thanjavur.
- Vedanthangal Lake Birds Wildlife Sanctuary: South of Palar River in Chengalpattu District.
- Vellode Birds Wildlife Sanctuary: Vellore in the Erode district.
- Vettangudi Birds Wildlife Sanctuary: Sivaganga district.
Wildlife Sanctuaries of Puducherry
Oussudu Wildlife Sanctuary (BS)
- It spreads in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu.
Ramsar Sites of Tamil Nadu (14)
- It is an IBA located adjacent to Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary in Ramanathapuram district.
- Major Avifauna: Grey Pelican (VU), Painted Stork (NT), Little Egret (LC), Grey Heron (LC)
Gulf of Mannar Marine BR
- This is the first Marine Biosphere Reserve in South Asia. The local communities are mainly Marakeyars, with fishing their main livelihood.
- Endangered: Dugong (VU), Hawksbill Turtle (CR), Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphin (VU), Green Sea Turtle (EN).
- Invasive Prosopis trees has affected the growth of the indigenous babul populations.
- Avifauna: Painted Stork (NT), Oriental Darter (NT), Oriental White (Black-Headed) Ibis (NT)
- It is situated in the Kanchipuram district. Karikili along with Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary are IBAs.
- Avifauna: Oriental Darter (NT), Spot-Billed Pelican (VU)
Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary (IBA)
- It is a human-made wetland maintained by the local community. It is designated as IBA.
Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest
- It is one of the few natural coastal aquatic habitats. The marshland is located along the Coromandel Coast south of the Adyar Estuary, serving as an aquatic buffer of the flood-prone Chennai.
- It is a large mangrove forest located between the estuaries of Vellar and Coleroon Rivers. It is separated from the Bay of Bengal by a sand bar.
- The mangroves are revered by due to the significant spiritual value associated with Excoecaria agallocha, a mangrove with toxic properties commonly known as “Tillai”.
- Endangered Species: Great White-Bellied Heron (CR), Spoon-Billed Sandpiper (CR), Spotted Greenshank (EN), Olive Ridley Turtle (VU)
Point Calimere WLS & BS
- It is one of the last remnants of dry evergreen forests in India (a unique kind of forests in Tamil Nadu).
- Major Avifauna: Spoon-Billed Sandpiper (CR), Grey Pelican or Spot-Billed Pelican (VU)
- Threats: Prosopis chilensis (Chilean mesquite – known as “the devil with roots”).
- Prosopis juliflora and Prosopis chilensis are the most invasive mesquit species (plants in genus Prosopis).
- They have extremely long roots to seek water from far under ground.
Suchindram Theroor Wetland Complex
- It is declared an IBA. It lies at the southern tip of the Central Asian flyway of migratory birds. It is a man-made, inland Tank and is perennial.
- It stores floodwaters during monsoon overflows and maintains surface water flow during drier periods.
- It is a large human-made irrigation tank and shelter for migratory birds.
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary (IBA)
- This freshwater wetland is a people-protected water bird area. People have been benefited by the manure-rich guano water from the lake that increases the agriculture yield multifold.
- Guano is excretory waste of birds rich in nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous.
- Major Avifauna: Indian River Tern (VU), Oriental Darter (NT), Painted Stork (NT)
Vembannur Wetland Complex
- It is a human-made inland tank and IBA site. The tank is believed to have been constructed in the regime of Pandyan king Veeranarayana.
- Major Avifauna: Indian River Tern (VU), Spotted Greenshank (EN), Grey Pelican or Spot-Billed Pelican (VU)
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