Current Affairs 2023
Eravikulam National Park is a 97 sq km national park located in the Western Ghats in the Idukki and Ernakulam districts of Kerala in India. It is the first national park in Kerala and was established in 1978. The park is known for its high-altitude grasslands, rolling hill plateaus, and wildlife, including the largest surviving population of Nilgiri tahr.
Apr 03, 2023
2 min read
Eravikulam National Park is a 97 km2 national park situated in the Idukki and Ernakulam districts of Kerala, India. Established in 1978, it is the first national park in Kerala and is administered by the Kerala Department of Forests and Wildlife. The park consists of high altitude grasslands, sholas and the highest peak in South India, Anamudi, which stands at 2,695 meters.
The park is home to 26 species of mammals, including the largest surviving population of Nilgiri tahr, which is estimated at 750 individuals. Other mammals include gaur, sambar deer, lion-tailed macaques and predators such as dhole, leopard, tiger, golden jackal and wild dog. Elephants also make seasonal visits to the park.
There are 132 species of birds found in the park, with 19 species of amphibians and 101 species of butterflies. Many of the birds are endemic, such as the Nilgiri pipit, Nilgiri flycatcher, Kerala laughingthrush and the black-and-orange flycatcher. The shola-grassland ecosystem is home to endemic butterflies like the red disk bushbrown and Palni fourring, while the endemic Telinga davisoni and Colias nilagiriensis are also found here.
The park is also home to the newly discovered Raorchestes resplendens frog, which is restricted to an area of less than three km2 on the peak of Anamudi. The frog has distinguishing characteristics such as multiple prominent glandular swellings and bright red iris, and has been assigned its own name.
Three major types of plant communities are found in the park – grasslands, shrublands and forests. Grasslands cover the terrain above 2000m, while deeper valleys are extensively forested. Shrublands predominate along the bases of the cliffs and in rocky slab areas. The park is also famous for the Neelakurinji flower, which blooms every 12 years and covers the entire hillside in blue.
Eravikulam National Park is a popular tourist destination, with 148,440 visitors recorded in 2001. The park is surrounded by the Pooyamkutty and Idamalayar forests, which provide a rich ecosystem for the flora and fauna in the park.
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