THANTHAI PERIYAR WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
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Context: The Tamil Nadu government declared the Thanthai Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary as the 18th wildlife sanctuary in the state.
- The Tamil Nadu government has officially declared the Thanthai Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary in Bargur Hills, Erode district, covering 80,114.80 hectares of reserve forests. This designation makes it the 18th wildlife sanctuary in the state.
- The announcement was initially made in the 2023 State Budget and was formalized through a notification issued by the Environment, Climate Change, and Forests Department on January 30, 2024.
Key points about the Thanthai Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
- Located in Bargur Hills, Erode district, the sanctuary serves as a critical corridor linking the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve with the Cauvery South Wildlife Sanctuary.
- It occupies a strategic position in the Eastern Ghats, merging with the Western Ghats at the Nilgiris.
Biodiversity and Habitat
- The sanctuary encompasses diverse flora and fauna, providing an ideal habitat for various life forms.
- The landscape is interconnected with the Kollegal forests of Karnataka and the Nilgiris, creating one of the most diverse habitats in the region.
Role in Conservation
- The region functions as a corridor connecting the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) to the Male Mahadeshwara Hills Tiger Reserve and the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary.
- It plays a crucial role in maintaining a viable tiger population and is identified as one of the tiger corridors by the National Tiger Conservation Authority.
- Part of the Nilgiris Elephant Reserve, the sanctuary is home to a healthy population of large herbivores, including elephants and the Indian Gaur.
Thanthai Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary
●18th wildlife sanctuary in Tamil Nadu.
●Links the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve with Cauvery South Wildlife Sanctuary.
●Provides a crucial corridor for the movement of elephants and tigers between the Western and Eastern Ghats.
●Part of the Nilgiris Elephant Reserve.
●The Thanthai Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is a diverse landscape with a mix of hills, valleys, forests, and grasslands.
●The highest point in the sanctuary is the Bargur Hills, which reach an elevation of over 1,800 meters (5,900 feet).
●The Periyar River is the longest river in Kerala and it, along with the Pamba River, passes through the Sanctuary.
Flora and Fauna
●Plants: Rosewood, teak, sandalwood, bamboo, lantana, and various medicinal plants.
●Mammals: Tigers, leopards, elephants, gaurs, sloth bears, dholes, spotted deer, sambar deer, barking deer, wild boars, pangolins, and hanuman langurs.
●Birds: Hornbills, peacocks, grey junglefowl, painted spurfowls, drongos, eagles, owls, and a variety of migratory birds.
●Reptiles: Snakes, lizards, crocodiles, and turtles.
●The Paliyar tribe is a small, indigenous community that traditionally inhabits the forests within the Sanctuary.
- The declaration of the Thanthai Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary signifies a commitment to conservation, protecting biodiversity, and ensuring the ecological and cultural integrity of the region. The sanctuary's designation recognizes its vital role in maintaining wildlife corridors, supporting tiger populations, and sustaining local communities and their traditional practices.
Q. What is the name of the tribal community that traditionally inhabits the forests within Thandiramalai Periyar Tiger Reserve?
The Paliyans are the indigenous tribal community that traditionally inhabits the forests within Thandiramalai Periyar Tiger Reserve (TNPTR).
Gonds: Primarily found in Central India, particularly Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Chhattisgarh.
Todas: Inhabit the Nilgiri Hills in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, known for their pastoral lifestyle and buffalo herding traditions.
Paliyans: Reside in the forests of the Eastern Ghats, including Thandiramalai Periyar Tiger Reserve and surrounding areas. They have a deep cultural connection with the forest and possess valuable knowledge about its ecology and wildlife.
Bhils: Primarily inhabit the western and central parts of India, known for their hunting and gathering skills.