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Current Affairs 2023
Mudumalai National Park is a national park located in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including tigers, elephants, leopards, and various bird species.
Apr 09, 2023
3 min read
Mudumalai National Park, located in the Nilgiri Mountains in Tamil Nadu, South India, is a treasure trove of biodiversity. The park covers 321 km2 and is situated at an elevation range of 850–1,250 m in the Nilgiri District. It shares its boundaries with the states of Karnataka and Kerala and has been a protected area since 1940. In 1986, it was declared a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, and in 2007, it was designated a tiger reserve with a buffer zone of 367.59 km2.
The park boasts of a tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest with over 498 plant species, 266 bird species, 18 carnivore species, and 10 herbivore species. The Moyar River and its tributaries drain the area and are home to 38 fish species. However, the park faces some challenges in the form of traffic on public roads that pass through it, leading to significant roadkills of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. The park's northern part has also been affected by several wildfires since 1999.
Mudumalai National Park is located in the Eastern Hills of the Western Ghats and is bordered in the west by Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, in the north by Bandipur National Park, and in the east by Sigur Reserve Forest. In the south, it is bordered by Singara Reserve Forest. The park is characterized by an evergreen forest with dipterocarp species prevailing in the elevation range of 250–1,200 m. Its undulating hills consist mostly of hornblendite and biotite gneiss with black sandy loam. The red heavy loam prevails in the southern part, and it is part of the ecoregion South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests.
The park has a unique climate, with an annual rainfall of about 1,420 mm mostly during the southwest monsoon season from June to September. The temperature drops during the cool season from December to January, but rises during April to June, which are the hottest months. The annual precipitation ranges from 1,100 mm in the south and west to 600 mm in the east.
Mudumalai National Park harbors a tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest with 498 plant species, including 154 tree, 77 shrub, 214 herb, and 53 vine species. Teak and axlewood are the dominant tree species with a density of more than 105 trees/ha. Prominent tree species include flame-of-the-forest, Indian laurel, kusum tree, weaver's beam tree, Malabar kino tree, Indian rosewood, Malabar plum, silk-cotton tree, and Indian beech. The moist deciduous forest is interspersed with giant thorny bamboo. Mango and persimmon grow along river courses. Climbers include orange climber, Wattakaka volubilis, frangipani vine, trellis-vine, purple morning glory, striped cucumber, and several jasmine species.
The park is also home to many invasive species, such as Lantana camara, which negatively affects the dispersal of native species such as Indian gooseberry and Kydia calycina. However, it does not affect the growth and dispersal of other shrubs. The nesting behavior of birds reveals that red-vented bulbul and red-whiskered bulbul prefer its top canopy level for building nests in spring.
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