Asian Elephant @ Aditya Singh
Nestled on the northeastern slopes of the Nilgiris, Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary has the distinction of being the first wildlife sanctuary 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. Flanked by Bandipur Tiger Reserve and Waynad Wildlife Sanctuary, it falls under the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The Moyar River, the park’s primary water source flows through the sanctuary, separating Mudumalai from adjoining Bandipur. The park forms part of an important corridor for migratory elephants who move in large herds through Nagarahole, Bandipur and Mudumalai.
Elephants are the dominant mammals here and herds can be seen along the National Highway that cuts through the park. Primary among Mudumalai’s predators are Tiger, Leopard and Dhole – the Asiatic Wild Dog, which can be seen in packs. Other mammals include Striped Hyena, Golden Jackal and the Sloth Bear. Herbivores include the Gaur, Sambar, Spotted Deer, Indian Muntjac, Mouse Deer and Wild Boar. Primates found here are the Bonnet Macaque and Southern Grey Langur, while the Giant Red Squirrel and Flying Squirrel dominate the trees.
Bird life is rich, with endemics and near-endemics like the Blue-faced Malkoha, Malabar Lark, White-cheeked Barbet, Grey-headed and White-browed Bulbuls, Yellow-billed Babbler, Indian Nuthatch and Nilgiri Flowerpecker. More widespread birds include Crested Serpent Eagle, Yellow-footed Green Pigeon, Plum-headed Parakeet, Asian Koel, Spotted Owlet, Crested Treeswift, Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Eurasian Hoopoe, Streak-throated Woodpecker, Black-rumped and Common Flamebacks, Brown, Bay-backed and Long-tailed Shrikes, Black, Ashy, White-bellied and Bronzed Drongos, Black-hooded Oriole, Rufous Treepie, Small and Orange Minivet, Common Iora, Gold-fronted Leafbird, Brown-cheeked Fulvetta, Blyth’s Reed and Greenish Warblers, Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher, White-browed Fantail, Purple-rumped and Purple Sunbirds, Pale-billed Flowerpecker and Chestnut-shouldered Petronia.
- 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