Creation and administration of Protected areas in South India originated with the Maharajas of the Southern Princely States' private hunting grounds. The Mudumalai National Park, established in 1940, was the first modern Wildlife Sanctuary in South India.
Most of Kerala, whose native habitat consists of wet evergreen rain forests at lower elevations and highland deciduous and semi-evergreen forests in the east, is subject to a humid tropical climate. however, significant variations in terrain and elevation have resulted in a land whose biodiversity registers as among the world's most significant.
Important ecological regions of South India are the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, located at the conjunction of the borders of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu in the Nilgiri Hills and the Anamalai Hills in the Western Ghats. Bird sanctuaries including Vedanthangal, Ranganathittu, Kumarakom, Neelapattu and Pulicat are home to numerous migratory and local birds.
Lakshadweep has been declared a bird sanctuary by the Wildlife Institute of India. Other protected ecological sites include the mangrove forests of Pichavaram in Tamil Nadu, the backwaters of Pulicat lake in Tamil Nadu and Vembanad, Ashtamudi, Paravur and Kayamkulam lakes in Kerala. The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve covers an area of 10,500 km.sq of ocean, islands and the adjoining coastline including coral reefs, salt marshes and mangroves. It is home to Endangered aquatic species including dolphins, dugongs, whales and sea cucumbers.
The region is home to one of the largest populations of endangered Indian elephant and Bengal Tiger in India. Elephant populations are found in eight fragmented sites in South India; in northern Karnataka, along the Western Ghats, in Bhadra–Malnad, in Brahmagiri–Nilgiris–Eastern Ghats, in Nilambur–Silent Valley–Coimbatore, in Anamalai–Parambikulam, in Periyar–Srivilliputhur and Agasthyamalai. The region is home to one-third of the tiger population and more than half of the elephant population of India. There are 14 Project Tiger reserves and 11 Project Elephant reserves in the region. Other threatened and endangered species found in the region include grizzled giant squirrel, grey slender loris, sloth bear, nilgiri tahr, nilgiri langur, lion-tailed macaque, and Indian leopard.
Dates and Prices
Western Ghat - The hill ranges starting from ' Tapthi ' and ending at ' Ashampoos ' in Tamil Nadu is biologically rich forest area in peninsular India.This is about 1600 kms in length.The high point is Anamudi in Kerala 8432 Feet above mean sea level and the lowest is a gape called '' Palghat gap'' which only 250 Feet above mean sea level in Kerala. There are many species of Flora and Founa endemic to Western Ghats.About 16 Species of birds are recorded endemic to Western Ghats.Recent classification include about 10 to 12 Species in the list.
Day 1 Arrive Kochi
Day 2 , 3 and 4 at Thattekad
Thattekkad - by far the best birding spot in South India. In an area of approximately 25 square kilometres over 322 species have been recorded.There will also be night birding for the Nightjars, Frogmouths & Owls. Specialties here include Spot-bellied Eagle-Owl,Ceylon Frogmouth,Red Spurfowl, Rofous Babbler,Brown-breasted,White-bellied,Blue-tailed&Rusty-tailed Flycatchers,Grey-headed Bulbul and Wynad Laughing Trush. Moreover Thattekkad is ideal for seeing a good number of the endemics of Western Ghats.The more difficult birds are Wynad laughing Trush and Grey-headed Bulbul. Proceed to Urulanthanny, at the other end of the reserve Bulbul and Laughing Thrush.Other notable species like to be seen are Red Spurfowl Ceylon Frogmouth, Blue-bearded Bee-eater,Malabar Grey Hornbill,White-bellied and Heart-spoted Woodpeckers,Rofous Babbler,White-bellied Blue Flycatcher,White-bellied Treepie and Malabar Trogon.
Day 5 and 6 at Munnar
Day 7 and 8 Ooty
Day two we will bird in and around Ooty and enjoy its lavish landscape.
Day 9 - Ooty - Masinaguri - Kochi
Upon arrival at Kochi overnight at the hotel.