CHINNAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the rain shadow region of Western Ghats of Kerala, India. It represents a large number of plants and animals unique to the thorny vegetation. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Devikulam taluk of Idukki district Kerala. Itis a well-known reserve that extends over an area of over 90 sq km.
This also declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1984. The area covered with mixed vegetation which includes dry deciduous forests, high sholas and wet grasslands. As a result, Chinnar gets only about 48 rainy days in a year during the months of October and November. Apart from being the habitat of the endangered giant grizzled squirrel in India, the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to tigers, elephant, bonnet macaques, gaur, Kraits, spotted deer, spectacled cobras, sambar, turtles, vipers, little cormorants, darters and black eagles. The place is also ideal for boating and trekking.
About Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary
Apart from the dry thorn forests, due to the significant variation in altitude and rainfall, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary also has a wide array of habitat types like deciduous forests, dry thorny forest, riparian types, sholas and grasslands that are interspersed with plains, hillocks, rocks and cliffs which provide microhabitats for varied forms of life. It is an abode of reptilian fauna and the richest in Kerala in terms of the number of species. Albizia lathamii, a critically endangered species reported from the dry forests of Chinnar. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is also a well famous repository of medicinal plants.
The riverine forests along Chinnar and Pambar support a healthy population of Grizzled Giant Squirrel. The forest department does not offer any conducted safaris. However there are other options like the 'river trekking programme' (from 6 to 11 AM & 3 to 6 PM, Rs. 50/person) and the 'trek to thoovanam waterfall' (Rs. 35/person). Other options include the trek to the pre-historic dolmens. Bookings made for all these programmes from the checkpost or the Eravikulam wildlife warden's office.