Periyar

Spot Popular Flora And Fauna In The Periyar National Park

Planning a trip to Periyar National Park? Here is a list of the top flora and fauna in Periyar National Park.

Periyar National Park is one of the best wildlife destinations in Kerala and India. It is a known protected area for tigers and elephants. The park has a 100-year-old lake, the primary source of fauna in the jungle. Also, there are about forty tigers in Periyar Tiger Reserve, and you can spot them during a safari.

Periyar National Park has about 171 grass species, 143 orchids, 265 bird species, and 35 mammals. In addition, there are some rare and endangered flora and fauna in Periyar National Park. Some flora and fauna sheltering here include gaurs, Malabar giant squirrels, cobras, vipers, sambar deer, elephants, tigers, flying squirrels, raptors, grackles, cobras, hornbills, etc.

This national park was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1978 and Periyar National Park in 1982. It is also known as the Thekkady Wildlife Sanctuary and is considered one of India’s best-managed reserves. Boating and trekking are available in Periyar National Park, and other highlights include bird watching and photography.

Read below to know the flora and fauna of Periyar National Park in detail.

Fauna Of Periyar National Park

This national park is located amidst the Cardamom and Pandalam Hills of the western ghats, which houses many fauna species. Periyar National Park provides shelter to many tigers and elephants in its reserve. The estimated number of species in Periyar National Park includes 62 mammal species, 320 bird species, 27 amphibian species, and 38 fish species. 

Some popular wild animals in Periyar National Park are Sambar, Barking deer, Indian wild dog, Nilgiri Tahr, Striped-necked Mongoose, Sloth Bear, Wild Pigs, Common Langur, Indian tiger, rare lion-tailed macaque, etc. Some notable bird species include Brahminy kite, white-bellied blue catcher, Sri Lanka frogmouth, Rufous-bellied hawk eagle, and Malabar grey hornbill.

Here is the top fauna in Periyar National Park. Take a look. 

Mammals

Elephant

One of the known subspecies of the Asian Elephant, the Indian Elephant is one of the majorly found species in Periyar National Park. Asian and African elephants are different. Asian ones are smaller in size and have smaller ears, and the back of Indian Elephants is more rounded, making the head’s crown their body’s highest point. The African Elephant has a two-fingered tip to its trunk, while the Indian one has only one. Also, the tusks of the male Indian Elephant are more curved and thicker. Also, they live up to 60 to 70 years, and adults reach maturity at 15 years of age.

They spend 19 hours feeding and eating around 150 kg of plant matter daily. Elephants also help large areas clear areas of vegetation and open up habitats, creating new space for growth. Asian Elephants have been hunted for hundreds of years, and their homes have been destroyed, impacting their population. Currently, less than 50,000 Asian Elephants exist in the world, and they are restricted to isolated pockets of land. 

Also Check out Popular Periyar Wildlife Tour Packages

Nilgiri Langur

A monkey species, Nilgiri Langur, is predominantly found in the Nilgiri Hills of the Western Ghats in South India. It is also known by names like Indian hooded leaf monkey, Black leaf monkey, Nilgiri black langur, and John’s langur. Unlike common langurs, Nilgiri Langur is shy and resides in dense forests. Nilgiri Langur is a threatened species, and thus, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Red List has listed it as “Vulnerable.”

Nilgiri Langur’s survival is also threatened by poaching, and their habitat is being destroyed for developmental projects like dams and hydroelectric projects. Apart from this, Nilgiri Langur ranges from Kanyakumari to Coorg Hills, and Srimangala ranges from Brahmagiri to Makut to protect the area. Thus, it covers states like Kerala, Karnataka, and western Tamil Nadu. As for their physical appearance, they have glossy black fur and golden brown fur on their head. In addition, they have dark faces with white side-burns.

Birds

Nilgiri Wood Pigeon

A non-migrant resident bird, the Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, is endemic to India, mainly the Western Ghats in southwest India. This bird species is found primarily in Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra. Also, they are related to ashy wood pigeons and Sri Lanka wood pigeons. Apart from Periyar National Park, you can find Nilgiri Wood Pigeons in Kudremukh National Park, Silent Valley National Park, Talakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, and more.

The Nilgiri Wood Pigeon is a large pigeon, scientifically called Columba Elphinstone. It measures 35 to 40 cm in length and weighs about 380 g. The head and the underbody are bluish-grey, with the mantle being purple-maroon. Their hind beck has a black and white pattern mainly caused by black feathers with white tips. Dark gray is the color of the tail, and the bill’s base is red with a pale yellow tip. Also, their call is a low-frequency hooting sound.

Blue-Winged Parakeet

Scientifically called Psittacula columboides, the Blue-Winged Parakeet is a native bird species to India. However, its numbers are decreasing due to habitat loss and trapping for the pet trade. According to the records, its range is less than 50,000 sq. km; thus, the IUCN has classified it as a “restricted range” species. The main threat to Blue-Winged Parakeets is poaching for the illegal pet trade. Besides, this bird species is one of the best fauna in Periyar National Park and is also found in Mumbai.

Blue-winged parakeets are social birds who wander in groups of 4-5. Sometimes, they wander in small flocks. Also, they do not make that much noise and are often heard before being seen. They usually make nests on tall trees in evergreen and deciduous forests. They eat figs, flowers, pollen, seeds, small nuts, nectar, and leaf buds for food.

Reptiles

Monitor Lizard

Known for being a solitary reptile, Monitor Lizard is a majorly found species in Periyar National Park. Also, there are limited water resources; thus, the Monitor Lizard comes together as a group of 25. They consist of 60 living species of large lizards that belong to the family Varanidae and the genus Varanus. Also, they prefer tropical and subtropical zones of Asia, Australia, and Africa. Also, Monitor Lizards are advanced in their species. Of all species of Monitor Lizards, the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is the largest species and lizard in the world. It is about 3 m long and weighs 135 kg.

The Dragon Monitor Lizard is an endangered species on small Indonesian islands. But Megalania, another in the species, is two times the Komodo dragon lizard and is found in Australia as fossils. Varanus brevicauda is the smallest monitor lizard, about 20 cm long and 20 g in weight. All the Monitor Lizards are carnivores and eat spiders and insects except V.bitatawa and V.olivaceus. 

King Cobra

King Cobra is an extremely venomous snake native to the Asian continent. It is huge and generally about 10 to 12 feet in length but can grow up to 18 feet. This reptile species is called “King Cobra” because it kills and eats other cobras. The fully grown ones have black-brown, green, or yellow skin with white or yellow cross bars or chevrons. The small King cobra’s skin is jet black with white/yellow crossbars on the tail and body.

King cobras are mainly known for their aggressive nature. Their fangs are 0.5 inches long, fixed to their upper jaw, and short. If they were longer, they would have torn the skin on the lower part of the mouth. Also, when looking for food, they raise their heads and flick their tongues, and as the prey approaches, the cobra strikes, sinking its venomous fangs into the prey like a rat. Their venom is so strong that a single bite can kill an elephant.

Flora Of Periyar National Park

The flora in Periyar National Park varies. It mainly comprises tropical evergreen forests and semi-evergreen forests around the tank. Also, Periyar National Park’s center has moist deciduous forests and woody grasslands. In addition, the park has swampy areas on the periphery of Periyar Lake, known for boating activities. It also has tall weeds, making this area one of the best places for large mammals. 

Furthermore, Periyar National Park’s vegetation is so vast that it offers excellent cover in the form of grass and shoots. There are about 1,963 species of plants in this national park, out of which the Kerala Forest Research Institute and Kerala Forest Department recognize 823 genera and 159 families. Some known flora in Periyar National Park include Terminalia, Teak, Rosewood, Eucalyptus, Bamboo, Jacaranda, Sandalwood, and more.

Here is the top fauna in Periyar National Park. Take a look. 

Teak (genus Tectona grandis)

Teak is native to India, Thailand, and Myanmar (Burma). It is one of the most valuable timbers and has been widely used in India for over 2,000 years. And since it is also found in Periyar National Park, where they speak Malayalam, it is called “tēkka.” The Teak tree is straight but has a buttressed stem, meaning thick at the base. The leaves are sometimes whorled about 0.5 m and 23 cm wide. They resemble the leaves of a tobacco plant, but their substance is hard, and the surface is rough. The wood of the teak is important for building boats, exterior construction, furniture, carvings, etc., due to its water resistance.

Rosewood (Dalbergia latifolia)

Names like Indonesia rosewood, Malabar rosewood, Bombay blackwood, Easy Indian Rosewood, etc., also known as Rosewood. It is native to India and Indonesia but is also found in Nigeria, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Kenya. Rosewood grows up to 40 m under suitable conditions. It is also known for producing hard and durable wood with a long straight bore. This makes the Rosewood plant highly valued in Indian as well as international markets. Further, its bark is used for medicinal purposes. People make furniture, veneers, plywood, musical instruments, and other wood products. However, it is threatened by the overexploitation of its timber. Thus, the IUCN Red List has listed Rosewood as “Vulnerable.”

Sandalwood (genus Santalum)

Sandalwood is about 25 species of semi-parasitic plants of the family Santalaceae. It is known for its fragrant wood. This tree is found in southeastern Asia, Australia, and South Pacific islands. True sandalwood tree’s roots and tree have a yellow aromatic oil called sandalwood oil, and its odor persists for years in items like furniture, ornamental boxes, furniture, and fans built of white sapwood. Sandalwood tree grows to 10 m in height and has leathery leaves in pairs. Also, the oil of this tree is obtained by wood steam distillation. The oil is used in soaps, incense, candles, perfumes, and medicines. It also comes in the form of powder to make a paste and apply on Brahman caste marks and in sachets for scenting clothes.

Periyar National Park is one of the wealthiest locations in terms of flora and flora. The diversity of mammals, birds, reptiles, fishes, and tree species makes Periyar National Park among the best wildlife destinations in India. Elephants, tigers, blue-winged parakeets, king cobras, sandalwood, rosewood, teak, and more are some of the most popular flora and fauna in Periyar National Park. If you wish to see them in person, book Periyar tour packages with Indian Visit. Connect with our travel experts to know more about the services and tour.

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