Mudumalai National Park

Nestled on the northeastern slopes of the Nilgiris, Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary has the distinction of being the first wildlife sanctuary to be created in South India in 1940. This gently undulating hilly terrain of the Western Ghats lies on Tamil Nadu's interstate boundaries with Karnataka and Kerala. Strategically located near Bandipur National Park, Waynad Sanctuary and the Sigur and Singara reserve forests, it also comes under the proposed Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The Moyar River, the most importance source of water in the sanctuary, separates Mudumalai from adjoining Bandipur, with similar flora and fauna. Since most other streams dry up in early June, you have a good chance of sighting wildlife in the dry season around the Moyar. You can see giant squirrels with ease. Known for its endemic bird species like Malabar Trogon, Malabar Grey Hornbill and Malabar Great Black Woodpecker, Mudumalai is a birdwatcher's delight. The park forms part of an important corridor for migratory elephants who move in large herds through Nagarahole, Bandipur and Mudumalai to the forest regions of Kerala. You can interact closely with the mahouts and their tame giants at the Elephant Training Camp at Theppakadu, which has the distinction of the highest number of elephant births in captivity.

Primary among Mudumalai's predators are Tiger and Dhole, the Asiatic Wild Dog, who hunt in packs. The leopard is usually seen in the Kargudi area. Other mammals include Striped Hyena, Jackal and the omnivorous Sloth Bear. Asian Elephant, Gaur, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Indian Muntjac, Mouse Deer and Wild Boar can also be seen moving through the forest. Primates like Bonnet Macaque and Langur and rodents like the Giant Squirrel and Flying Squirrel dominate the trees. Among the reptiles, the Monitor Lizard is the most regularly observed species. The adjacent Annamalai Sanctuary has two exclusive species not found in Mudumalai - the Nilgiri Langur and Lion-tailed Macaque. Bird life is rich. In the cool, dense forests, you'll find regional endemics like Malabar Trogon, Malabar Grey Hornbill and the White-bellied Woodpecker, with its striking red crest. Other birds found here are Yellow-billed Babbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Pacific Swallow, Orphean Warbler, Temminck's Stint, White-rumped Needletail and Grass Owl. The Scops Owl is more heard than seen, while the predatory birds include Crested Hawk Eagle and Crested Serpent Eagle.

The forest can be broadly classified into three main types: Tropical Moist Deciduous, Tropical Dry Deciduous and Southern Tropical Thorn forest or scrub jungle.

Fact sheet:

State : Tamil Nadu
Area : 321 sq. km (Combining Core and buffer forest)
Altitude : 350 to 1266 m above mean sea level
Vegetation : Tropical Moist Deciduous and Tropical Dry Deciduous
Water resources : Moyar, Biden Halla that flows into it and Benne Hole, draining the western part of the sanctuary
Winter : December to January
Summer : April to June
Monsoon : June to September
Rainfall : 1420 mm
Temperature : Min 15°C - Max 30°C

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