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The protected areas of Kerala include a wide range of biomes, extending east from the coral reefs, estuaries, salt marshes, mangroves and beaches of the Arabian Sea through the tropical moist broadleaf forests of the Malabar Coast moist forests to the North Western Ghats moist deciduous forests and South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests to South Western Ghats montane rain forests on the western border of Tamil Nadu in the Western Ghats. Most protected areas throughout its 14 districts are under the stewardship of the Kerala Forest Department and like all other protected areas of India receive support from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (India).

National Parks of Kerala
Periyar National Park - plaque.JPG
Welcome to the Protected Areas of Kerala


Land coverageEdit

The state of Kerala covers an area of 38,863 km2 (15,005 sq mi).

  • The total forest area in the state is 10,336 km2 (3,991 sq mi) (1995), forming 27.83 % of the total geographic area.
  • There are six national parks with a total area of 558.16 km2 (215.51 sq mi).
  • There are fourteen wildlife sanctuaries with a total area of 1,891.07 km2 (730.15 sq mi).
  • Together the protected area totals 2,449.23 km2 (945.65 sq mi), which cover 23.7% of the total forest area and 6.3% of the geographical area of Kerala State.


The first official action towards the conservation of wildlife and biodiversity in Kerala was taken in 1934 by the Maharaja of the Princely state of Travancore, Chithira Thirunal Balarama Varma, by declaring the forests around Periyar lake as a private game reserve to stop the encroachment of tea plantations. It was named Nellikkampatty Game Reserve and was consolidated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1950 after the political integration of India. [1]

Biosphere reservesEdit

Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (5,520 km2) established in 1986, includes parts of Wayanad, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Mudumalai, Nilambur, Silent Valley and Siruvani Hills in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.

Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve (3,500 km2) established in 2001, covers parts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Pathanamthitta Districts in Kerala and Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari Districts in Tamil Nadu.

National parksEdit

Periyar National Park

1978 Eravikulam National Park, Idukki District, 97 km2

1982 Periyar National Park, Idukki District, 350 km2

1984 Silent Valley National Park, Palakkad District, 89.52 km2

2003 Mathikettan Shola National Park, Idukki District, 12.82 km2

2003 Anamudi Shola National Park in Idukki District is composed of Mannavan shola, Idivara shola and Pullardi shola, covering a total area of 7.5 km2.

2003 Pambadum Shola National Park, Idukki District, 1.318 km2

Proposed Karimpuzha National Park, 230 km2

Wildlife sanctuariesEdit

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

Wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala include:[2][3]

Tiger reservesEdit

1978 Periyar Tiger Reserve 777.54 km2Idukki District 1950. PTR notified in 1982 TE, MF, MD, P. West Coast TE 900 m-2019 m tiger, lion tailed macaque, black panther, elephant, smaller mammals.

Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is the second tiger reserve in Kerala. This is located in the district of Palakkad, Kerala, while the closest town for visitor access to this tiger reserve is Pollachi, in Tamil Nadu.


  • The Thiruvananthapuram Zoo is one among the best designed in Asia and is set amidst a woodland, lakes and lawns.[5] It is one of the oldest in the country, established as an annexe to the museum in 1857.
  • The Thrissur Zoo is home to the wide variety of animals, reptiles and birds. Spread over an area of 13.5 acres of land, a natural history museum and an art museum are also enclosed within the same premises showcasing the socio-cultural heritage of the region. There is a special building which houses snakes also.[6]

Reserve forestsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Kerala Forest Dept.Kerala Forest Dept.
  2. ^ Kerala Forests and Wildlife Department (2004) Kerala Forests and Wildlife Department
  3. ^ Wildlife Institute of India 2007 List of Protected Areas Archived 2007-07-31 at WebCite, Dehradun
  4. ^ Expert Eyes Wildlife Sanctuaries
  5. ^ Public Relations Department, Govt. of Kerala., 101 Things to Do in Kerala, retrieved 6/23/2007 Trivandrum zoo Archived 2007-06-28 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Kerala State Department of Museums and Zoos Zoological garden, Thiruvananthapuram Archived 2007-06-22 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ (2002) "Palgat", retrieved 4/1/2007 Palgat Archived 2007-04-18 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ University of Texas Libraries, India and Pakistan 1:250,000, Series U502, U.S. Army Map Service, 1955 Topographic Maps of India