Mudumalai National Park
The Mudumalai National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary also a declared tiger reserve, lies on the northwestern side of the Nilgiri Hills (Blue Mountains), in Nilgiri District, about 150 kilometres (93 mi) north-west of Coimbatore city in Tamil Nadu, India. It shares its boundaries with the states of Karnataka and Kerala. The sanctuary is divided into five ranges – Masinagudi, Thepakadu, Mudumalai, Kargudi and Nellakota.
Mudumalai National Park
Mudumalai Tiger Reserve
Entrance to Mudumalai tiger reserve
|• Total||321 km2 (124 sq mi)|
|Elevation||1,266 m (4,154 ft)|
|Time zone||UTC+5:30 (IST)|
|Nearest city||Gudalur 7 km (4.3 mi)|
|Core of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve||Visitors Centre at Theppakadu|
|Governing body||Tamil Nadu Forest Dept|
|Entry fee||Rs.15 per adult |
(No private vehicles allowed in the sanctuary)
|Precipitation||2,000 millimetres (79 in)|
|Avg. summer temperature||33 °C (91 °F)|
|Avg. winter temperature||14 °C (57 °F)|
The protected area is home to several endangered and vulnerable species including Indian elephant, Bengal tiger, gaur and Indian leopard. There are at least 266 species of birds in the sanctuary, including critically endangered Indian white-rumped vulture and long-billed vulture.
The Western Ghats Nilgiri Sub-Cluster of 6,000 square kilometres (2,300 sq mi), including all of Mudumalai National Park, is under consideration by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for selection as a World Heritage Site.
Mudumalai Tiger ReserveEdit
There are 48 tigers in the Nilgiri Reserve across which tigers are free to roam.
In April 2007, the Tamil Nadu state government declared Mudumalai to be a tiger reserve, under section 38V of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, in an effort to conserve the country's dwindling tiger populations. Subsequently, about 350 families living in the core area were evicted from the park and given INR 10 Lacs compensation. Those in the 5 km buffer area around the park fear they, too, will be evicted; nobody will be dislodged from the buffer zone. In fact, some people in this zone will become trackers and guides to enhance their income through eco-tourism.
There are three main types of forest in the sanctuary: tropical moist deciduous occur in the western Benne Block, where rainfall is higher than in the other blocks. Tropical dry deciduous forest occurs in the middle and southern tropical dry thorn forests are in the east.
In addition there are patches of tropical semi-evergreen forest in the southwest and western part of Mudumalai. The annual rainfall there exceeds 2,000 mm (79 in). Tree species in this habitat include Casseria ovoides, Litsea mysorensis, Cinnamomum malabatrum and Olea dioca. Climbers including sneeze wort (Dregea volubilis), Gnetum ula and Entada scandens are also found in these semi-evergreen forests.
Moist bamboo brakes are found amidst dry deciduous, moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests and along the fringes of riparian forests and swamps. There are two species of bamboo found in Mudumalai, the giant clumping bamboos: Bambusa (arundinacea) and Dendrocalamus strictus. Elephants and gaur eat both species of bamboo. In all types of forest, a green strip of riparian forest is seen along the shore of dry seasonal and perennial streams. This type of forest remains green in all seasons. The plant species found here includes: Mangifera indica, Pongamia glabra, Terminalia arjuna, Syzygium cumini, Indian rosewood Dalbergia latifolia and the bamboos. Larger mammals such as elephant, gaur, sambar and tiger use riparian forest patches for feeding and resting.
This sanctuary is home to several species of wild relatives of cultivated plants including wild rice, wild ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, solanum, guava, mango and pepper that act as a reserve gene pool for the cultivated plants. In places mixed vegetation types are present. The deciduous trees shed their green leaves during the summer, and adopt a floral garb while the arrival of the monsoons hails fruits and tender greens.
There is a high diversity of animal life in the sanctuary with about 50 species of fishes, 21 species of amphibians, 34 species of reptiles, 227 species of birds and 55 species of mammals. Mammal diversity is higher in the dry deciduous and dry thorn forests than in the other habitats. Thirteen percent of all mammal species in India are present in Mudumalai wildlife sanctuary.
|Mammal species||found in India||in Mudumalai||and their percentage in MWS|
|Order||# species in India||# species in MWS||% in MWS|
|Even-toed ungulates (deer, gaur, pig)||34||7||20.50|
|Carnivora (tiger, leopard, sloth bear)||58||19||32.70|
|Pholidota (ant eater)||1||1||100|
|Lagomorpha (black-napped hare)||11||1||9.09|
|Rodentia (rats, squirrel)||102||14||13.73|
Of 15 cat species in India, four live in Mudumalai: Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, jungle cat and leopard cat. There are 44 to 80 tigers in the Mudumalai forest. The single largest tiger population in India (Mudumalai – Nagarhole – Wynad) includes the Mudumalai tigers. These tigers are a breeding source for populating the northern and eastern parts of the Western Ghats. This population exists at high density due to the high density of prey species thriving in its deciduous forests.
The Indian leopard (P. pardus fusca) (NT) is most often seen in the Kargudi area. Other carnivores include the dhole (Cuon alpinus) (V), the striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena) (NT), the golden jackal (Canis aureus) and the sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) (V). The population of Indian elephants, Elephas maximus indicus (E), totals several hundred animals. Three primates found here include the gray langur (Semnopithecus priam) and the bonnet macaque (Macaca radiata). Important prey animals for large carnivores here are the ungulates including the gaur (Bos gaurus) (V), the sambar deer (Cervus unicolor) (VU), the chital deer (Axis axis), Indian muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak), the Indian spotted chevrotain, Moschiola indica, and the wild boar (Sus scrofa), all of whom are common here. Rodents include the Indian giant squirrel (Ratufa indica maxima) and the red giant flying squirrel (Petaurista petaurista).
Eight percent of bird species in India occur in the Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary. Among the 227 bird species found in Mudumalai, 110 species are insectivores, 62 are carnivores, 23 species are fishivores, 12 species are omnivores and 20 species are granivores. These include the unique near threatened black-and-orange flycatcher. Regional endemics include Malabar trogon and Malabar grey hornbill. Some rare birds of prey like the rufous-bellied eagle can occasionally be seen in this sanctuary. Other predatory birds include crested serpent eagle, changeable hawk eagle, black eagle, Oriental honey-buzzard, Jerdon's baza, Bonelli's eagle, crested goshawk, besra, mottled wood owl and brown hawk owl, and several minivets.
There are also hornbill, golden oriole, chloropsis, paradise flycatcher, golden-backed woodpecker Malabar great black woodpecker, blue-winged parakeet, fairy bluebird, jungle fowl racket-tailed drongo, peafowl, red spurfowl, grey francolin, painted spurfowl, painted bush quail, white-bellied woodpecker, lesser yellownape, golden woodpecker, streak-throated woodpecker, chestnut-headed bee-eater, emerald dove, green imperial pigeon, grey-fronted green pigeon, grey-bellied cuckoo, Indian cuckoo, alpine swift, black-hooded oriole, greater racket-tailed drongo, black-headed cuckooshrike, grey-headed bulbul, forest wagtail, crimson-backed sunbird and Loten's sunbird. It also holds the isolated southern population of the striped tit-babbler.
Tourism, especially in the Segur/Masinagudi area, is claimed by some to pose a threat to the region, but this is strongly repudiated by persons who live and work in the area. The extensive growth of Invasive species, such as lantana, that hinder the natural regeneration process of the forests has occurred as a result of excessive cattle grazing. Construction activities of the proposed India-based Neutrino Observatory at Singara, Masinagudi, are likely to have significant impacts on the local wildlife. The 5-year work plan, high volume of debris and waste disposal, blasting activities, extensive vehicular activity and large number of outside workers and their support infrastructure all threaten to disrupt the wildlife corridor on the Sigeur plateau, including Mudumalai Sanctuary, connecting the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats.
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- The New Internationalist (2008). "Tiger vs Neutrinos". Archived from the original on 14 August 2008. Retrieved 4 August 2008.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mudumalai National Park.|
- UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Fact Sheet, 1988
- Elephants in Mudumalai NP by an expat living in India (pictures + French text)
- Mudumalai wildlife and landscapes
- Mudumalai Photos 15th Aug 2006 – Courtesy Sasikumar & Ananthi
- Mudumalai Wildlife Bird Photographs
- Mudumalai Accommodation
- NBR Alliance
- Mudumalai Accommodation