Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve
KMTR the 17th Tiger Reserve in India and was declared as Tiger Reserve in 1988. This includes two contiguous Sanctuaries namely Kalakad Sanctuary and Mundanthurai Sanctuary and a part of Kanyakumari Sanctuary. The total area of the Tiger Reserve is 895 Sq.KM. This Reserve has been identified as one among the Type-1 Tiger Conservation Units (TCU) representing the tropical moist evergreen forests worldwide.
KMTR is located in the Southern Western Ghats. It also forms part of the interstate Agasthiyarmalai Biosphere Reserve . The altitude ranges from 40m above MSL to 1800 m above MSL. This Reserve receives rainfall from both the monsoons and the rainfall ranges from 750mm on the eastern outer slopes to 3500mm in the western higher reaches.
There are 3 important waterfalls which attract lakhs of tourists every year. They are Agasthiyar falls and Banatheerthum falls adjoining Karayar Dam in Mundanthurai Range and Manimuthar falls in Ambasumdhram Range.
Sorimuthu Iyyanarkoil in Mundanthurai Range, Nambi koil in Thirukkarankudi Range and Golaknath Temple in Kadayam Range are important tourist destinations.
Thalayanai – 6 KM. – Karungal Kasam/ Woodhouse and Dormitary 7.5 KM. Mudul
Iruppan W. House – 7 KM – Mulakalasam – 15 KM – Kakachi
(Log house) – 14 KM Upper Kodaiyar – Sengaltheri ( R. House, W.house, I.Shed) – 14 KM – K.Range – K.R.F.
Netterikal (No halt) – 8 KM – Thirukurankudi Range K.R.F.
Narakad (No halt) – 19 KM- Nambikoil (W.House)
Kannikatti FRH – 21 KM. – Pandipatti
Mundanthurai – (18th KM. Vadamadi RH) – 24 KM Valaiyar
Karaiyar – 4 KM – Sevalar (E.B.) Rest House
Kalakad Range – K.R.F. – Sengaltheri R.H. Dormitory – 10 KM- Mulakalasam
Grey Francolin, Rain Quail, Jungle Bush Quail, Small Buttonquail, Yellow-legged Button quail, Barred Button quail, Red Spurfowl, Painted Spurfowl, Grey Junglefowl, Indian Peafowl, Bar-headed Goose, Lesser Whistling-duck, Cotton Pygmy-goose, Spot-billed Duck, Northern Pintail, Eurasian Wryneck, Speckled Piculet, Rufous Woodpecker, White-bellied Woodpecker, Brown-capped Pygmy, Woodpecker, Lesser Yellownape, Streak-throated Woodpecker, Common Flameback, Black-rumped Flameback, Greater Flameback, Brown-headed Barbet Crimson-fronted Barbet, Coppersmith Barbet, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Great Hornbill, Common Hoopoe, Malabar Trogon, Indian Roller, Common Kingfisher, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher, Stork-billed Kingfisher,White-throated Kingfisher, Black-capped Kingfisher, Pied Kingfisher, Green Bee-eater, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Pied Cuckoo, Chestnut-winged Cuckoo Large Hawk Cuckoo, Indian Cuckoo, Lesser Cuckoo, Grey-bellied Cuckoo, Drongo Cuckoo, Asian Koel, Blue-faced Malkoha, Sirkeer Malkoha, Greater Coucal, Vernal Hanging Parrot, Rose-ringed Parakeet, Plum-headed Parakeet, Malabar Parakeet, Indian Swiftlet,White-rumped Needletail, Asian Palm Swift, House Swift, Fork-tailed Swift, Alpine Swift, Crested Treeswift, Oriental Bay Owl, Oriental Scops Owl, Eurasian Eagle Owl, Spot-bellied Eagle Owl, Brown Fish Owl, Brown Wood Owl, Jungle Owlet, Spotted Owlet, Brown Hawk Owl, Sri Lanka Frogmouth, Grey Nightjar, Large-tailed Nightjar, Indian Nightjar, Rock Pigeon, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Laughing Dove, Spotted Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Emerald Dove, Pompadour Green Pigeon, Slaty-legged Crake, White-breasted Waterhen, Purple Swamphen, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Snipe, Green Sandpiper, Eurasian Thick-Knee, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Yellow-wattled Lapwing, Red-wattled Lapwing, River Tern, Whiskered Tern, Osprey, Jerdon’s Baza, Black Baza, Black-shouldered Kite, Black Kite, Brahminy Kite, Grey-headed Fish Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, Red-headed Vulture, Crested Serpent Eagle, Pallid Harrier, Crested Goshawk, Shikra, Besra,Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Oriental Honey-buzzard, Common Buzzard, Long-legged Buzzard, Tawny Eagle, Booted Eagle, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Changeable Hawk Eagle, Kestrel, Eurasian Hobby, Laggar Falcon, Little Grebe, Darter, Little Cormorant, Little Egret, Great Egret, Intermediate Egret, Cattle Egret, Indian Pond Heron, Grey Heron, Little Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Malayan Night Heron, Black Bittern, Glossy Ibis, Black-headed Ibis, Black Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill, Spot-billed Pelican, Painted Stork, Asian Openbill, Indian Pitta, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Blue-winged Leafbird, Brown Shrike, Bay-backed Shrike, Rufous Treepie, White-bellied Treepie, House Crow, Large-billed Crow, Ashy Woodswallow, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Black-hooded Oriole, Large Cuckooshrike, Black headed Cuckooshrike, Small Minivet, Scarlet Minivet, Bar-winged Flycatchershrike, Black Drongo, Ashy Drongo, White-bellied Drongo, Bronzed Drongo, Greater Racket-tailed Drongo, Black-naped Monarch, Asian Paradise-Flycatcher, Common Iora, Large Woodshrike, Common Woodshrike, Blue Rock Thrush, Malabar Whistling Thrush, Pied Thrush, Orange-headed Thrush, Scaly Thrush, Eurasian Blackbird, White-bellied Shortwing, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Rusty-tailed Flycatcher, Brown-breasted Flycatcher, Red-throated Flycatcher, Black-and-orange Flycatcher, Verditer Flycatcher, Nilgiri Flycatcher, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, Blue-throated Flycatcher, Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher, Indian Blue Robin, Oriental Magpie Robin, Indian Robin, Black Redstrat, Pied Bushchat, Chestnut-tailed Starling, Brahminy Starling, Common Myna, Jungle Myna, Hill Myna, Velvet-fronted Nuthatch, Black-lored Tit, Eurasian Crag Martin, Dusky Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, Pacific Swallow, Wire-tailed Swallow, Red-tailed Swallow, Northern House Martin, Grey-headed Bulbul, Black-crested Bulbul, Red-whiskered Bulbul, Red-vented Bulbul, White-browed Bulbul, Yellow-browed Bulbul, Black Bulbul, Grey-breasted Prinia, Jungle Prinia, Ashy Prinia, Oriental White-eye, Grosshopper Warbler, Blyth’s Reed Warbler, Thick-billed Warbler, Broad-tailed Grassbird, Orphean Warbler, Common Tailorbird, Greenish Warbler, Large-billed Leaf Warbler, Western Crowned Warbler, Wynaad Laughingthrush, Grey-breasted Laughing-thrush, Puff-throated Babbler, Indian Scimitar Babbler, Tawny-bellied Babbler, Dark-fronted Babbler, Yellow-eyed Babbler, Rufous Babbler, Jungle Babbler, Yellow-billed Babbler, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, Singing Bushlark, Indian Bushlark, Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark, Eurasian Skylrak, Thick-billed Flowerpecker, Purple-rumped Sunbird, Crimson-backed Sunbird, Purple Sunbird, Loten’s Sunbird, Little Spiderhunter, House Sparrow, Forest Wagtail, White Wagtail, White-browed Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Nilgiri Pipit, Paddyfield Pipit, Baya Weaver, Indian Silverbill, White-rumped Munia, Black-throated Munia, Scaly-breasted Munia, Black-headed Munia, Common Rosefinch.
The flagship species are Tiger, Asian Elephant, Lion tailed Macaque, Indian Dhole, Leopard, Madras hedgehog, Days shrew, Grey musk shrew, Hill (mountain) shrew, Pygmy shrew, Fulvous fruit bat, Indian flying fox, Lesser dog-faced fruit bat, Short-nosed fruit bat, Lesser mouse-tailed bat, Black-beared tomb bat, Pouch-bearing bat, Greater false vampire, Lesser false vampire, Rufous horseshoe bat, Blyth’s horseshoe bat, Lesser woolly horseshoe bat, Dusky leaf-nosed bat, Fulvous leaf-nosed bat, Schneider’s leaf-nosed bat, Evening bat, Painted bat, Slender loris, Bonnet macaque, Common langur, Nilgiri langur, Indian jackal, Bengal fox (from outside PA), Sloth bear, Nilgiri marten, Common otter, Smooth coated otter, Oriental small clawed otter, Small Indian civet, Common palm civet, Jerdon’s (brown) pawn civet, Common Indian mongoose, Brown mongoose, Ruddy mongoose, Stripe-necked mangoose, Leopard cat, Jungle cat, Rusty-spotted cat, mouse deer, Barking deer, Chital, Sambar, Gaur, Nilgiri tahr, Indian pangolin, Common palm squirrel, Dusky striped squirrel, Jungle striped squirrel, Indian giant squirrel, Indian giant flying squirrel, Travancore flying squirrel, Malabar spiny dormouse, Indian gerbil, Indian bush rat, Soft-furred field rat or metad, White-bellied wood rat, Indian field mouse, Bonhote’s mouse, House mouse, Spiny field mouse, Indian long-tailed tree mouse, Lesser bandicoot rat, large bandicoot rat, Indian porcupine and hare.
Western Ghats is one of the 25 global hotspots and one of the 3 mega centres of endemism in India. Agasthiyarmalai which forms part of KMTR is one of the 5 centres of plant diversity and endemism in India (IUCN). Among all the Tiger Reserves in the country, KMTR is probably the richest from the biodiversity point of view. This is also described as ‘Super hotspot’ of Biodiversity.
The floral diversity includes 2,254 Angiosperms which includes 448 endemic species, 58 Red- listed species, 601 Medicinal species, 90 species of wild relatives of the cultivated plants. There are 3 Gymnosperms and 156 Pteridophytes. The faunal diversity includes 47 species of fish, 47 species of amphibians, 89 species of reptiles, 337 species of Birds and 79 species of Mammals. The entire spectrum of biodiversity of KMTR has been documented in book titled “Biodiversity of Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve” by R. Annamalai and published by Tamil Nadu Forest Department. ‘Current science’ has brought out a special issue on KMTR (Volume 18, No.3, 10th February 2001).
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