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Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kozhikode
The sanctuary is part of the western ghats, a biodiversity hotspot. It also comes under the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and forms a part of the Wayanad Elephant Reserve.The sanctuary area constitutes the watersheds of Kuttiady River. The reservoirs at Kakkayam, Peruvannamuzhy and Banasuramala are lifeline of the inhabitants in Kozhikode district as they are the source of drinking water.
The 16th Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala, Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary was inaugurated by the Forest Minister of Kerala Mr. Benoy Viswom on 08th August 2010.
Electricity is also generated from the hydro-electric project at Kakkayam. Peruvannamuzhi is the main tourist spot in the region which also the site of Kuttiady Irrigation Project. The picturesque dam site, unique climate, richness of biodiversity and gorgeous waterfalls of Urakkuzhi offers good eco tourism potential and is an important tourist destination of this region.
Location and Extent
Spread across 74 sq. km. in the three villages of Kozhikode district, the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary is the 16th wildlife sanctuary to be formed in Kerala. This wildlife sanctuary has been set up with the aim of protecting the rich biodiversity of the Malabar region.
The Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary covering a total of 74.215015 sq.km extends between 11degree 75’ and 11 degree 76 ‘North latitude and between 76 degree 20’ and 75 degree 38’ East longitude.
The sanctuary is located in Chakkittappara and Koorachundu revenue villages of Quilandy Taluk. The forests lie on the Northwest slopes of the Western Ghats contiguous with the forests of Ladysmith Reserved Forests and Kurichiar mala of Kalpetta Forest Range of South Wayanad Forest Division. The sanctuary lies along the boundary of Kozhikode district with Wayanad district to the north of the Tamarassery – Kalpetta Ghats.
Located at Peruvannamoozhi, a popular ecotourism destination, the sanctuary is home to the rarest amphibians, especially the frog variety named Philatus Oschlandrae. The sanctuary is also a haven for butterflies such as Papilio liomedon, Papilio paris, Papilio dravidarum and Prioneris sita. Fish varieties such as Barilius bakeri, Tor khudree, Mystus vittatus and Puntius denisoni are also seen.
The lion-tailed macaque, brown palm civet, elephants, gaurs, tigers, leopards, Nilgiri Langur and the Kerala laughing thrush, oriental darter, grey-headed bulbul, Malabar parakeet, small sunbird, and white-bellied blue flycatcher are among the protected animals and birds in this region.
Forty one species of mammals are reported in the area, which include 6 Western Ghats endemics. Of the 179 species of birds, 10 are endemics, 6 range restricted and 5 globally threatened species. Thirteen of these are listed in the schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972). Preliminary surveys indicate the presence of 36 species of reptiles including 8 Western Ghats endemics. This forested habitat is known to be an ideal haunt for King Cobra, the largest venomous snake in the world.
Thirty eight species of amphibians are known from this area of which 26 are Western Ghats endemics.The streams of Kakkayam support 52 species of fishes including 21 Western Ghats endemics. The hill stream habitats of Kakkayam are also known for the endangered Mahseer, Tor khudree. A total of 143 species of butterflies including 8 Western Ghats endemics are known from this area. Fifty one species of Dragon flies which include 11 species of Western endemics are reported from the region.
Flora – Vegetations
The Sanctuary has diverse vegetation types. These are the West-coast Tropical Evergreen, West-coast Semi evergreen, Southern Moist Mixed Deciduous, Southern Hill-top Evergreen forests, Grasslands, and Marshy grasslands. The variety of vegetation types harbours more than 680 species of flowering plants including 226 species endemic to southern Western Ghats (about 30%). Sixty nine species of plants are placed under various threat categories.Viable populations of tree species like Meteoromyrtus wynaadensis, Syzygium stocksii, Eugenia argentea (previously considered extinct), Syzygium floccosum, Atuna indica (previously considered extinct), Coffea crassifolia (previously considered extinct), Garcinia malabarica, Humboldtia brunonis var. rakthapushpa. Atuna indica, Eugenia argentea and Humboldtia brunonis var. rakthapushpa occur only in this sanctuary.More than 200 species of medicinal plants are reported in this sanctuary. Fifty two species of bryophytes including 28 liverworts and 24 mosses are reported. Sixteen of these are new to Kerala and 9 new to Peninsular India. Several of them are reported to occur only in this Sanctuary area. Fifty ferns reported from the area include three tree ferns.
Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary: Climate,Temperature,Humidity
Both south-west and north-east monsoons bring rains to this region. South West monsoon is heavier and more violent. The 1992 and 2007 monsoon season was unusually heavy and violent causing considerable damage to forest, cultivations and property. The south west monsoon starts in the first week of June, preceded by a few pre-monsoon showers in April and May. The heaviest fall occurs in July and August. The north east monsoon is generally weak and characterized by sporadic rains during afternoons in the month of October-November. December to March is generally dry months.
Attractions at Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary
1. Urakkuzhy waterfalls.
2. Peruvannamuzhi and Kakkayam dam and reservoirs.
3. Adventure trekking
4. Wild life rehabilitation centre
How to reach Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary
Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary is located approximately 65KM away from Calicut city. Bus services available from Calicut and nearby cities to Kakkayam. Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated just 15KM away from Kakkayam. Taxi services are available from Kakkayam to Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary.
Distance from Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary to Calicut City Bus Stand : 65 KM
Distance from Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary to Calicut Railway Station : 67 KM
Distance from Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary to Calicut Airport : 87KM
Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary: Where to Stay
There are many accommodation options are available near to Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary. Government Tourist Bungalow are available at Peruvannamuzhi, Kakkayam, Perambra. There are numerous Hotels and lodges are available in nearby towns like Permabra, Balusseri, Kuttiady. You can even stay in Kozhikode City which offers budget accommodation to five star hotels.