|Central coordinates||77o 5.78' East 10o 15.02' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3|
|Altitude||1,400 - 2,694m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2004|
Site description Eravikulam National Park lies along the crest of the Western Ghats in the high ranges of Idukki district of Kerala. The nearest town, Munnar, is accessible by road from Cochin and Kottayam. Till 1975, the High Range Game Preservation Association, Munnar managed this area, when it was declared a sanctuary. In 1978, it became a National Park, mainly to protect the endemic Nilgiri Tahr Hemitragus hylocrius. Eravikulam is the finest example of what remains of the shola grassland ecosystem in the Western Ghats. It is also the best remaining habitat of some highly endangered and endemic mammals such as the Nilgiri Tahr and the Nilgiri Marten Martes gwatkinsi. Anaimudi, at an elevation of 2,695 m is the highest peak in the Western Ghats. At the base of the Anaimudi is the Eravikulam plateau, with an average elevation of 2,000 m. It is part of a larger plateau called the High Ranges. The climate of Eravikulam and areas of similar altitude in the Western Ghats is subtropical. The wind-swept hills and rolling plateaux have grassland vegetation, and the valleys and folds harbour biologically rich forests called sholas. Thus the natural vegetation of the plateau is a mosaic of sholas and grasslands. Eravikulam is perhaps the largest contiguous, undisturbed shola-grassland ecosystem remaining in the Western Ghats. It is definitely the only place where one can now witness the grandeur of the mountains when, once in twelve years, whole tracts are covered by the mass flowering ‘Neelakurinji’ Strobilanthus kunthianus, “the great blue flower of Nilgiri”. About 60% of the Eravikulam National Park is under grassland. Menon (1997) identified three grassland communities based on characteristic spectral radiance value: i) Dichanthium polyptcum- Eulalia pheothrix-Chrysopogon zeylanicus; ii) Arundinella mesophylla-Andropogon lividus-Ishamum indicum-Chrysopogon zeylanicus; and iii) Arundinella purpurea-Chrysopogon zeylanicus-Eulalia pheothrix. About 25% of the Park constitutes shola forest, consisting of Mesia indica, Microtropis ramiflora, Syzigium arnottianum, Ixora notoniana, Ternstroemia japonica, Cinnamomum wightii and Mahonia leschenaultii (Menon 1997). A small percentage of West Coast Tropical Evergreen forest is also seen. About 6% is under rocks and cliffs, an important habitat of the Nilgiri Tahr.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Nilgiri Wood-pigeon Columba elphinstonii||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2, A3||Vulnerable|
|Malabar Parakeet Psittacula columboides||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Malabar Grey Hornbill Ocyceros griseus||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|White-bellied Treepie Dendrocitta leucogastra||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Grey-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus priocephalus||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Near Threatened|
|Broad-tailed Grassbird Schoenicola platyurus||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|Rufous Babbler Turdoides subrufa||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Kerala Laughingthrush Strophocincla fairbanki||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Near Threatened|
|White-bellied Blue Robin Myiomela albiventris||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1, A2, A3||Endangered|
|Black-and-rufous Flycatcher Ficedula nigrorufa||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Near Threatened|
|White-bellied Blue-flycatcher Cyornis pallipes||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Crimson-backed Sunbird Nectarinia minima||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|Nilgiri Pipit Anthus nilghiriensis||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Vulnerable|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Eravikulam||National Park||9,700||is identical to site||9,700|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Nature education and conservation|
Acknowledgements Key contributors: IBA Team and Kerala Wildlife Department.
BirdLife International (undated) Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Asia: Project briefing book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K., unpublished.
Menon, A. R. R. (1997) Vegetation Mapping and Analysis of Eravikulam National Park, Using Remote Sensing Techniques. Pp. 19. KFRI Research Report 130. Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi.
Stattersfield, A. J., Crosby, M. J., Long, A. J. and Wege, D. C. (1998) Endemic Bird Areas of the World: Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation. BirdLife Conservation Series No. 7. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.
Uthaman, P. K. (1998) Birds of the Eravikulam National Park – A survey Report. Blackbuck 14(2): 45-53.
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