|Central coordinates||77o 14.87' East 9o 26.72' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A3|
|Altitude||150 - 2,019m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2004|
Site description The Periyar Tiger Reserve is one of the most famous Tiger Reserves of India. The Reserve has an area of 77,700 ha, including Periyar Lake, (area 2600 ha). The boundaries are Madurai and Ramanadhapuram districts in the east, Kottayam district in the west and Pathanamthitta district in the south. It was one of the first Project Tiger areas of the country. This IBA lies among rolling hills and forested valleys that stretch across a section of the Western Ghats. It falls more or less steeply to populated lowlands on all sides, except along the northwest boundary flanking the more cultivated parts of the Cardamom Hills, and in the northeast and southeast corners where narrow corridors link with outlying hill areas, the High Wavy and Panthalam ranges, respectively. The northern and eastern boundary of the Park follows the Kerala/Tamil Nadu border along the crest line for about 90 km. The lowest elevation is 150 m along the Pambiyar river in the Kerala foothills, but this is not typical as most of the Reserve lie between 750 to 1,500 m. The Periyar lake sprawls through the uneven terrain with many bays, islands and long creeks winding up side valleys. Most of the land was not cleared before being flooded, and the bare, gaunt skeletons of long-dead forest hardwood still litter the water. The maximum depth is 42 m and the shoreline is generally steep. The vegetation of the Sanctuary is mainly composed of Tropical Evergreen Forest and Semi-evergreen Forest. In the central part of the Sanctuary, Moist Deciduous Forest and grasslands predominate. Reed brakes are primarily located in evergreen and semi-evergreen forests (Chandrasekhran 1973). There is Eucalyptus plantation in the buffer zone in the west. Among the 1,272 plant species that are considered endemic to the southern Western Ghats, 515 species were collected from Periyar (Sasidharan 1998). A new species of orchid, Habenaria periyarensis has been described from here. This shows the importance of Periyar Tiger Reserve as a biodiversity hotspot.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Indian Vulture Gyps indicus||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Wood Snipe Gallinago nemoricola||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|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|
|Wynaad Laughingthrush Garrulax delesserti||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A2, A3||Least Concern|
|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|
|Nilgiri Flycatcher Eumyias albicaudatus||-||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)|
|Periyar||National Park||35,000||protected area contained by site||35,000|
|Periyar||Sanctuary||77,700||is identical to site||77,700|
|Western Ghats||World Heritage Site||795,315||protected area overlaps with site||0|
Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Nature conservation and research|
Acknowledgements Key contributor: The IBA team.
BirdLife International (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: The BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.
BirdLife International (undated) Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Asia: Project briefing book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K., unpublished.
Chandrasekhran, C. (1973) Forest resources of Kerala - a quantitive assessment. Kerala Forest Department, Trivandrum.
Ramachandran, K. K., Vijayakumaran Nair, P. and Easa, P. S. (1986) Ecology of larger mammals of Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 83: 505-524.
Robertson, A. and Jackson, M. C. A. (1992) Birds of Periyar, an aid to birdwatching in Periyar, Kerala, S. India. Tourism and Wildlife Society of India.
Sasidharan, N. (1998) Studies on the flora of Periyar Tiger Reserve. KFRI Research Report No. 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.
Zacharias, V. J., Bhardwaj, A. K. and Jacob, P. C. (1996) Fish fauna of Periyar Tiger Reserve. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 93(1): 39-43.
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