Chimmony Wildlife sanctuary
|Chimmony Wildlife sanctuary|
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
A view from Chimmony Dam
|Location||Thrissur District, Kerala, India|
|Area||85.067 square kilometres (32.845 sq mi)|
Geography and History
Established in 1984, the sanctuary with an area of about 85.067 km2 is on the Western slopes of the Nelliyampathi Hills. The highest peak in sanctuary is Punda peak (1116 m). Along with the neighboring Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary it forms a continuous protected area of 210 km2. It also lies just west of Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, providing some habitat connectivity with the forests of that relatively large protected area. The sanctuary consists of the watershed areas of Kurumali River and Mupliam rivers. Nestled in the sanctuary is Chimmony Dam which is built across the Chimmony river.
The sanctuary is an important bird area with 192 recorded avian species. Five Western Ghats endemic bird species occur here, including the grey-headed bulbul (Pycnonotus priocephalus), Indian rufous babbler (Turdoides subrufus) and white-bellied blue-flycatcher (Cyornis pallipes). Other interesting species found here include-Ceylon frogmouth (Batrachostomus moniliger), Indian edible-nest swiftlet (Collocalia unicolor), Malabar trogon (Harpactes fasciatus), Malabar whistling-thrush (Myiophonus horsfieldii) and Loten's sunbird (Nectarinia lotenia) (Islam and Rahmani 2004). A recent survey recorded the presence of the lesser fish eagle (Ichthyophaga humilis), which until recently was only known from the foothills of the Himalayas.
Other significant sightings during the survey included those of the large hawk cuckoo (Cuculus sparverioides), broad-billed roller (Eurystomus orientalis) and ashy minivet (Pericrocotus divaricatus). About half of the large mammals found in Kerala are reported from Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary, especially some of the globally threatened species such as tiger (Panthera tigris), Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) and wild dog (Cuon alpinus). Other red-listed species found here include the Indian giant squirrel (Ratufa indica) and the endemic primates-lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus), Nilgiri langur (Trachypithecus johnii) and slender loris (Loris lydekkerianus). There are 39 species of mammals, 160 species of birds, 25 species of reptiles, 14 species of amphibians, and 31 species of fishes are reported from the sanctuary.
The sole tribal community within the limits of the sanctuary belongs to the “Malaya” tribe. An eco-development Committee was formed in October 2002 for the development of this community comprising 210 members belonging to 52 families residing in two colonies adjacent to the sanctuary. The tribal based eco-tourism projects initiated by the committee are progressing quite well.
The headquarters of the sanctuary is at Echippara which is 40 km away from City of Thrissur. The sanctuary also offers trekking paths for the adventure traveller. Accommodation can be arranged at the Inspection Bungalow, near the Chimmony Dam. Visit Permits can be obtained from: The Wildlife Warden, Peechi Wildlife Division, Peechi 680653. It comes under the Peechi Wild Life Division.
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