Flora and Fauna Topslip

Flora

The Anamalais rise from foothills at the height of 300 m to Topslip-Parambikulam Plateau at 800m and to the Valparai Plateau, between 1000 and 1250 m. The elevation range includes an array of habitats ranging from dry thorn forests in the low foothills to semi-evergreen stretches to grass hills and evergreen shoals in Valparai.
Forest types in this Reserve are:
  •     Tropical wet evergreen forest.
  •     Southern tropical moist deciduous forest
  •     Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Forest
  •     Southern Montane Wet Temperate Forest
  •     Southern tropical thorn Forest
  •     Dry Savannah Forest
  •     Southern Bamboo Forest
  •     Reeds.

The floral diversity has been estimated to be over 2000 species, of which about 400 species are of medicinal importance. The Karian Shola NP has been identified and designated as a Medicinal Plant Conservation Area (MPCA) due to its medicinal plant diversity.
Apart from its rich tree diversity, over 100 species of orchids, a wide variety of ferns, grasses, palms and canes abode here.

Fauna

The sanctuary supports extremely diverse faunal population and several species are exclusive to this area. A wide variety of herbivores inhabit this Sanctuary including elephant, gaur, Sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, mouse deer, nilgiri tahr and wild boar. This is equally matched by carnivore diversity with Tiger, Leopard, Wild Dog (Dhole), Indian Fox, Leopard-cat and Jungle cat. Primates are represented by bonnet macaque, common langur, nilgiri langur, lion-tailed macaque and slender loris. Other important mammals include the Sloth Bear, Small Indian civet, Toddy cat, Ruddy mongoose, Stripped-necked mongoose, Common Otter, Smooth Indian Otter, Nilgiri marten, Indian Flying fox squirrel, Indian Giant Squirrel, Dusky stripped squirrel, Flying squirrel, Black naped Indian Hare, Bandicoot Rat, Grey musk shrew, Indian Porcupine, Indian Pangolin.


The Sanctuary is a birders’ paradise. Over 300 species of birds have been sighted. Apart from the Great Pied Hornbil-the flagship species, rare birds like the Frogmouth, Red-winged crested cuckoo are found here. Birds of prey like Crested Serpent Eagle, Spot-billied Eagle , Black Eagle, Crested Gohawk, Rufous bellied Eagle, Jerdon’s Baza, Mountain Hawk Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Owl. Grey Jungle fowl, Painted Bush quail, Red Spurfowl, Malabar Pied Hornbill, Malabar Grey Hornbill, White-bellied Woodpecker, Alpine Swift, Brown-backed Needletail, Mountain Imperial Pigeon, Nilgiri Wood Pigeon, Dollar bird, Malabar Trogon, Asian Fairy Bluebird, Blue-bearded Bee eater, White bellied Treepie, White-bellied Shortwing, Wynad Laughingthrush, Hill Myna, Nilgir Flycatcher. Many species of flycatchers, Drongos, Treepies, Birds of prey, Thrushes, Warblers, Babblers, woodpeckers, Parakeets, Pigeons, Shrikes, Cuckoos, Swifts and Owls are also found here.
Shortwing, Wynad Laughingthrush, Hill Myna, Nilgir Flycatcher. Many species of flycatchers, Drongos, Treepies, Birds of prey, Thrushes, Warblers, Babblers, woodpeckers, Parakeets, Pigeons, Shrikes, Cuckoos, Swifts and Owls are also found here.

The Sanctuary is a treasure house of several rare, endangered and endemic species of reptiles and amphibians. Rare reptiles like Travancore Cane turtle and Travancore tortoise,Marsh Crocodile,Common Indian monitor,Kerala Forest Terapin,. Travancore Cane turtle, Forest calotes snake, Sand snake, Olive keel back, Water snake, Bronze bark tree snake, Perrotes shield tail snake, Common wolf snake and Green keel back are present here.
Southern Green calotes , Common skink ,Snake skink,Draco or Flying lizard.Apart from this, several species of snakes including the poisonous King Cobra, Cobra, Common Krait , Saw-scaled viper, Russels viper , Bamboo Pit Viper, and non Poisonus Indian rock python, Green keelback, Vine snake, Common warm snake, Sand snake, Olive keel back, Water snake, Bronze bark tree snake, Perrotes shield tail snake , Common wolf snake and Green keel back are present here.


The amphibians include narrow mouthed frogs like the Microhyla, tree frogs like the Malabar gliding frog, Green tree frog and toads like the Bufo beddomi, Bufo melanostictus.The insect diversity is amply demonstrated by a wide variety of butterflies and moths found here.It is very rich in grasshoppers, mantises, beetles, flies, ants, termites and spiders (arachinids), which play an important role in eco system sustenance.

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