Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary [CWS] - Kerala

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Jun 10, 2022, 6:35

A wildlife sanctuary is a protected area where animal habitats and their surroundings are sheltered from disturbance. Hunting, capturing, and poaching animals are strictly prohibited in a wildlife sanctuary.

Wildlife sanctuaries aim at providing a comfortable habitat for the animals. India has many beautiful wildlife sanctuaries, with dense forests and large rivers.

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary Geographical Location

Located in Munnar, the Kanthalloor and Marayoor Panchayat limits in the Idukki district of Kerala, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary [CWS] is one of the 13 sanctuaries in the protected areas of Kerala.

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is surrounded by Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary to its East, Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary to its north, and Eravikulam National Park to its South. It falls under the Eravikulam National Park's jurisdiction.

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

It consists of a major chunk of the protected forests growing in the Annamalai hills on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border and is well known for its various medicinal plants. The sanctuary has a unique thorny scrub forest.

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Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is also home to star tortoise, grey langur, gaur, slender loris, wild elephant, tiger, leopard, and many birds, insects, and plants and is also home to the endangered species of Giant Grizzled Squirrel of India.

It is the only place in Kerala where Star tortoises are known to occur in the wild and are also the only centre where the Kerala Forest Department rehabilitates the Indian Star Tortoise known as Geochelone Elegans.

The Indian Star Tortoise is a threatened species since they are popular in the exotic pet trade and are mostly found in the dry forests of India and Sri Lanka.

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Facts About Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee has been considering the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, among others, for categorisation as a World Heritage Site.

Recently, the Kerala government has carried out a butterfly survey in the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary to assess the butterfly diversity in the forest areas of the western ghats region, which is prone to climatic changes.

This survey spotted 191 different species of butterflies in the region, out of which 12 were endemic to the region. Some rare species of butterflies such as the silver forget me not, common three-ring, and Brown onyx was also spotted.

Butterflies are indicator species (species that provide information on the overall condition of an ecosystem). Thus this survey was undertaken to study the interrelation and effects of climate change on ecology.

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FAQs on Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary [CWS]

Q1. When did Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary come into existence?

The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary came into existence in the year 1984.

Q2. How many species of animals are there in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary?

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is home to 34 mammal species, 36 reptiles, 245 species of birds, 22 species of amphibians and 42 species of fishes. Common mammals in the sanctuary include panther, spotted deer, sambar, and grizzled giant squirrel.

Q3. Is Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary the only rehabilitation centre for Indian Star tortoises?

Yes, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is India's only rehabilitation centre for star tortoises. The sanctuary is now home to at least 450 tortoises seized from poachers. Because of the success of this programme, the star tortoises have become a popular icon of the sanctuary.

Q4. Where is the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary located?

The Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary [CWS] has located in Munnar, the Kanthalloor and the Marayoor Panchayat limits in the Idukki district of Kerala.