Vallanadu Black Buck Sanctuary
Vallanadu is the southernmost place in India where a natural population of Blackbuck exists. The Vallanadu Blackbuck Sanctuary is an isolated hillock with scrub forest in Toothukudi Revenue District situated on eastern side of Tirunelveli – Tuticorin highway. The whole plain area of Tamilnadu used to have large number of Blackbucks in the 19th century. The developmental pressures, poaching and agriculture has cornered them to four places now – Guindy National Park in Chennai; Mudumalai sanctuary near Masinagudi; Point Calimere sanctuary in Nagapattinam; and Vallanadu in Tuticorin.
The Sanctuary is located in Vallanadu Village of Srivaikundam Taluk of Thoothukudi District in Tamil Nadu at Tirunelveli – Thoothukudi road at the distance of 16 kilometres away from Tirunelveli Town.
Flora: he forest type available here in the sanctuary area is 6A/DSI that is Southern Thorn Scrub . The species composition as furnished below is mostly of thorny hardwood and xerophytes.
Dalbergia multiflora, Dichrostachys cinerea, Acacia latronum, Acacia planifrons, Albizia amara, Zizyphus Species and a few Azadirachta indica, Dodonia viscosa, Carissa carandus, Pterolobium indicum and Euphorbia Acalypha fruticosa, Ocimum sanctum, species form the under growth.
Fauna: Black buck, Monkeys, Wild cat, Mongoose, Black naped Hare, Scaly Ant eater- Pangolin, Viper, Rat snake, Peacock, Heron, Stork, Grey partridges,Jungle Craws, Common quails, Pied crested cuckoo, Crested hawk eagle, Black winged kite, Curlew, Lapwing, Nightjar, Sparrows, Horned owl,and other nearly 100 species of birds are found in the area.
The Blackbuck population is around 20-40. The thick acacia growth makes it difficult to assess the exact numbers. The Blackbucks have regular habit of coming out of the scrubs and graze in wastelands on the eastern side of the the sanctuary.
The climate is hot throughout the year. The rainfall and rainy days are very less. The area is bushy and not very accessible. The Blackbuck can be seen around only during early morning and laete evening hours at specified advantage points.Watch tower and tmporary shelters are available in the sanctuary.
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