Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Protected Reserve of Periyar National Park

Periyar National Park in Kerala, India is both a National Park and a wildlife sanctuary. Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary and Thekkady are the two other names by which it is referred. Over 950 square km of land is under protection out of which 350 square km is the core area. It is on the border with Tamil Nadu and lies in the middle of Cardamom Hills’ mountainous area. Periyar National Park (or PNP) is a well-known wildlife attraction of south India. Here are some interesting things to know about this park.

1. Periyar National Park was established in 1982 with the 350 km2 of the protected area as its core area.

2. The Cardamom Hills and Pandalam Hills surround the PNP which makes it a very picturesque place.

View inside Periyar National Park
3. The park derives its name from the Periyar River, which is one of the few perennial rivers in the region.

4. There is a beautiful lake inside the wildlife sanctuary, called the Periyar Lake, which came into existence after the construction of the Mullaperiyar Dam on Periyar River.

Mullaperiyar Dam
Submerged trees in Periyar Lake
5. PNP is a part of Project Tiger that aims to preserve the tiger population in India.

6. Besides tigers, dholes, gaur, sambar, wild pig, Indian giant squirrel, Travancore flying squirrel, jungle cat and sloth bear are some of the mammals of this park.

Dholes in Periyar National Park
7. This park was also taken under Project Elephant to ensure the safety of the elephants in this park.

8. Around 265 species of migratory and resident birds can be seen here. The tropical evergreen and moist deciduous forests provide an excellent habitat for the birds.

9. The best way to see wild creatures and birds in Periyar National Park is a boat cruise in Periyar Lake. Besides boat cruise, jungle safaris are also available to explore PNP.

Boat Cruise on Periyar Lake
10. The best time to visit Periyar National Park is from October to June (visit here for more information) when the weather is favourable.

Our Entry for ABC Wednesday - P is for Protected Reserve of Periyar National Park

Friday, October 11, 2013

Manas National Park - Home of Endangered Species

Manas National Park is located in Assam, India.  It spreads in an area of 360 square km. Name of the park is placed over the Manas River. The park is basically known for its rare & endangered wildlife species like Assam Roofed Turtle, Hispid Hare, Golden Langur and Pygmy Hog and is part of Project Tiger. Manas National Park was declared a wildlife sanctuary on October 1, 1928 and also listed in the UNESCO world heritage sites in 1985. Here, some of the best features of the park are given:-

Manas National Park
1. It is a perfect home for wild buffalo, elephant, tiger, rhino and for the thousands of endangered species that listed in the IUCN Red Book. Asiatic buffalo is one of the highlighted species of this park. It is a paradise for these species.

Elephants in Manas National Park
2. Flora of the park is gives it a picturesque view. The main vegetation of the park includes Sub-Himalayan light Alluvial Semi-Evergreen forests in the northern part; East Himalayan mixed Moist and Dry Deciduous forests, Low Alluvial Savanna Woodland and Assam Valley Semi-Evergreen Alluvial Grasslands. Assam Valley Semi-Evergreen Alluvial Grasslands covers around 50 % of the park.

View of the hills inside Manas National Park
3. Total 543 species of plants, 374 species of dicotyledons, 139 species of monocotyledons and 30 species of pteridophytes & gymnosperms are available there.

4. Fauna of the park include 55 species of mammals, 380 species of birds, 50 species of reptiles and 3 species of amphibians.

Langur in Manas National Park
5. The popular faunal species are Asian Elephants, Indian Rhinoceros, Gaurs, Asian Water Buffaloes, Indian Tigers, Leopards, Clouded Leopards, Capped Langurs, Asian Golden Cat, Slow Loris, Assamese Macaques, Barking Deer, Chital, Black Panther, etc.

6. Manas National Park has more than 450 species of birds and has the largest population of Bengal Florican that attracts most of the people towards it.

Bengal Florican - Image by NaveenGuruprasad on
7. The major bird species include Giant Hornbils, Kalij Pheasants, Egrets, Pelicans, Brahminy Ducks, Scarlet Minivets, Fishing Eagles, Herons, Harriers, Mergansers, Magpie Robins, Bee-Eaters, etc.

8. More than 50 species of reptiles are available there. Jeep safari and an Elephant safari are available there to explore the park perfectly. It may be a thrilling experience to watch the animals from the open roofed jeeps and is great fun also.

Indian Rhinoceros
9. The climate of the park varies from season to season. The minimum temperature is approximately 15 degrees Celsius and approximately 37 degrees Celsius is the maximum temperature in all the seasons. Heavy rainfall also occurs during the summer season, i.e. from May to September.

10. Best season to visit Manas National Park (Source of information) is between November and April as during these seasons, one can see the local animal species as well as the migratory birds. Time to visit the park is from 9 to 12 AM and from 2 to 5 PM.

Our Entry for ABC Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Kaziranga National Park – Home to Rhinoceros

Kaziranga National Park is located in Assam, India. It spreads on the area of 430 Sq kms along the river Brahmaputra on the north side and the Karbi on the south side. It is popular for the great one-horned rhinoceros and wild elephants. In 1974, it has been declared as a National Park. This is the only area which is least disturbed by the human beings. So, it is a paradise for both flora and fauna. Some of the best features of the national park are as follows:-

1. This national park is a world heritage site and is inhabited by the world’s largest population of one-horned rhinoceroses.

Great One-horned Rhinoceroses
2. It is also home to the largest population of wild water buffalo across the globe.

Wild Water Buffalos
3. Besides these, Wild Asiatic water buffalo, eastern swamp deer, elephants, gaur and sambar are also in a large number. So, many rare species are also found there.

4. Different species of birds can also be seen chirping from one tree to another and makes the atmosphere more natural. Many migratory birds, water birds, predators, etc. are found there in a large number. Great Indian Hornbil, Marsh Babblers, Indian Roller, Bengal Florican, Indian Vulture, Hodgson’s Bushchat, etc. are some of the other species of the birds.

Indian Roller
5. The park can be seen in different ways like through Jeep Safari, Elephant Safari, Boat rides on the Brahmaputra River.

6. Small herbivores that found in the park are the Indian Muntjac, Wild Boar and Hog Deer.

Hog Deer
7. The large number of tigers, due to conservation efforts, is also a major achievement of this National Park. This park also comes under the Project Elephant.

8. Reptiles are also there in a large number. Two of the largest snakes in the world namely Reticulated Python and Rock Python found there. Others are King Cobra, Krait, Viper, Assam Roofed Turtle, Water Monitor, Bengal Monitor Lizard, tortoise, etc.

9. The climate of the place is another thing that keeps the park full of flora and fauna in every season of the year. It is moderate in summer while nights are chilly in winter. Rainfall is very heavy during the monsoon season.

View of Kaziranga National Park
10. A time of period between November to March (Information source) is the best to see the park in the best natural way.