Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is the 2nd largest wildlife sanctuary in Kerala. It is home to some of the rare and endangered species of the flora and fauna. It is surrounded by the protected areas of Mudumalai Tamil Nadu and Karnataka's Bandipur. The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala was founded in 1973 as an integral part of the Nilgiris Biosphere reserve, which is the first biosphere of the total 14 biospheres in India. This sanctuary expands across an area of 345 sq. km. and consists of two parts namely the upper Wayanad and the lower Wayanad. Bamboo trees and Eucalyptus are grown in this region.
This famous wildlife sanctuary of Kerala is divided into two major streams, the Muthiranga and Tholpetty. Muthiranga is at a distance of 18 km from Sulthan Bathery in the south. On the other side, Tholpetty is in the north of Thirunelli. Muthanga is located next to the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka and the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. The sanctuary also surrounds the Sulthan Bathery and Kurichiat which are situated in Kerala. Tholpetty connects to the Nagarhole Range situated in Karnataka.
While you pass the roads that lead to Muthanga and Tholpetty, you will get a captivating sight of the rich flora and fauna on the way. The roadsides are all lush and green with beautiful estates present in the forests which comprise of bamboo trees, spiky ginger bushes, and the likes. Paddy fields are another outstanding aspect you will come across on your way.
Flora & Fauna to see in Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala
Moist and deciduous forests are covering most parts of the sanctuary, where one can also find few patches of evergreen forests. Bamboo groves including the deciduous forests is another major attraction of the sanctuary. One-third of the sanctuary is spread with teak, rosewood, silver oak and eucalyptus plantations. Swampy lands are also present in the Wayanad wildlife park. The place includes of rich flora covering with tree species such as Careya Arborea, Terminatia Chebula, Kydia Calycina, Anogeissus Latifolia, Stereospermum Colias, and Dalbergia latifolia.
There are a number of shrubs and creepers that can be spotted in the area. Woody climbers such as Calycopteries floribunda and Entada Scandens also can be seen in the forests of Wayanad.
The Wayanad Wildlife sanctuary consists of a variety of animals including the herds of elephants and you will see deer walking across the road or in the forests. Then there is the cat family where you will find tigers and panthers present in the region. Monkeys, bonnet macaques, Langurs, bison, sambar, and bears also can be seen in the sanctuary. The distinct Wayanad wildlife houses the slender loris too.
Monitor lizards and the golden tree snake, coral snake, green whip snake, and pit vipers can also be seen in the sanctuary. Reptiles such as the crocodile, termite hill gecko, flying lizard, chameleon, skinks, flap shell turtles and skinks are some other Fauna found in the sanctuary.
There are around 216 species of birds in the sanctuary including peacock, babbler, owl, black woodpecker, cuckoo and jungle fowl. There are about 30 species of amphibians that belong to the area including Ceylon Kaliula, Ramnella, ornate microhylid, red microhylid, bi-colored frogs, Malabar gliding frog, and bronze frog.
The rivers in the sanctuary consist of a wide variety of fishes including Wayanad barb, Malabar Catopra, Korhi barb, snakeheads, Ariza Labeo, common rasbora, Wayanad Mystus, and giant danio.