Tour My India

Wildlife Tourism in Kerala

Interesting Facts

  • Eravikulam National Park is regarded as one of the best –managed national parks in the country.
  • Animals found here are Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris), leopard (Panthera pardus), nilgiri tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius), and grizzled giant squirrel (Ratufa macroura).
  • Bird species which can be found here are  Grebes, Shearwaters and petrels,  Storm petrels, Tropicbirds, Pelicans, Boobies and gannets, Cormorants, Darters, Frigate, Bitterns, herons and egrets
  • Reptiles which can be found here are king cobra, viper, python, and various turtles and crocodiles
  • The Periyar National Park, Kerala, is not just the only national park in South India but in the whole of India to have an artificial lake which flows through its forests.
  • Forested area of Kerala is home to at least 325 globally threatened bird, amphibian, and reptile and fish species.

Wildlife Safari in Kerala: Muthanga or Tholpetty Wildlife Sanctuary

Rainforest Trekking in Kerala: Meenmutty to Nilambur, Wayanad

Wildlife trekking in Himachal Pradesh: Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

Geographical Facts:

Total No of National Parks in Kerala 6
Total No of Biosphere Reserve in Kerala 2
Wildlife Sanctuary 17
Tiger Reserve 2
Total No of Bird Species 453
Total No of Animal Species  

Forest Area
Total Forest Area 11309.5032 Sq.Km
Percentage of forest area to the total area of the state 29.10%
By Legal Status (Area as per records)
Reserved Forests 9107.2066 Sq.Km
Proposed Reserve 364.5009 Sq.Km
Vested Forests & Ecologically Fragile Lands 1837.7957 Sq.Km
TOTAL 11309.5032 Sq.Km

National park
Name Area (km2) Year started
Eravikulam National Park 97 1978
Periyar National Park 350 1982
Silent Valley National Park 237. 52 1984
Anamudi Shola National Park 7.5 2003
Mathikettan Shola National Park 12.817 2003
Pambadum Shola National Park 1.318 2003
Biosphere Reserve
Name Area (km2) Year started
Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve 1455.4 1986
Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve 1701 2002
Wildlife Sanctuary
Name Area (km2) Year started
Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary 777 1950
Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary 128 1958
Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary 125 1958
Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary 344.44 1973
Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary 285 1973
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary 70 1976
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary 25 1983
Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary 53 1983
Chimmony Wildlife sanctuary 85 1984
Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary 90.44 1984
Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary 171 1984
Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary 55 1984
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary 0.0274 2004
Kurinjimala Sanctuary 32 2006
Chulanur Wildlife Sanctuary 3.42 2007
Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary 74.215[6] 2010
Tiger Reserve
Name Area (km2) Year started
Periyar Tiger Reserve 925 1978
Parambikulam Tiger Reserve 648.5 1973

Kerala supports a wealth of distinctive flora and fauna. Whether it's deep inside the sea or in the middle of jungle wilderness, Kerala is an exciting wildlife destination waiting to be explored. While strolling on the beaches or passing through the rich paddy fields of the coastal plains, here tourists will encounter dozens of exotic birds. Jungles of Kerala are a mixture of grasslands, tropical evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous and mixed deciduous forests. Wildlife sanctuaries of Kerala have successfully conserved some of the unique coastal animals.

These jungles, which are spread over the length and breadth of Kerala, provide a perfect opportunity to rejoice the glory of Mother Nature. There are 6 national parks, 2 biosphere reserves, 16 wildlife sanctuaries and 2 wildlife reserves in Kerala. Lush green jungles of Kerala boast an array of flora and fauna species which lures the wildlife lovers from around the world to come here. Kerala is emerging as a wildlife tourism hot spot of the millennium as it serves up a unique tourist menu.

Around 2500 species of flowering plants have been found in Kerala apart from countless other grasses, ferns and brackens. One of the region's most distinctive trees which can be found in both the coastal and hilly areas of Kerala is the stately Banyan. Periyar National Park is known for the many species of flowering plants, including nearly 150 species of Orchids, which have been recorded here. The rare orchid Habeneria Periyarancis, named after the region can only be found here.

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary, and Eravikulam National Park are some of the most vivid national parks where tourist can witness the true hues of nature. Here, visitors can treat themselves to the colors and music of nature. In fact, India's first biosphere reserve- Nilgiri is also located in Kerala.

National Parks in Kerala:

There are 6 national parks within the borders of Kerala. These national parks are probably one of the most magnificent gifts of nature to mankind, a unique preserve of tropical rainforest in all its pristine glory. Eravikulam National Park, Silent Valley National Park, and Periyar National Park are some of the exceptional national parks in Kerala. Most of them were established during the British Era and were used by the British for their many hunting expeditions.

Wildlife Sanctuaries in Kerala

From Munnar to Kovalam, Kerala is adorned with the most exclusive variety of flora and fauna. A large number of tourists throng Kerala in search of peace, tranquillity. Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary in Palakkad district and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary in Idukki, are some of the finest sites in Kerala; they are now under the observation of UNESCO world heritage committee who will decide whether or not consider them as the world heritage sites.

Bird Sanctuaries in Kerala

In Kerala, one can catch sight of some exotic bird species as well. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary and Thattekkad Bird sanctuary are the places where tourists can spot avian species like the waterfowl, cuckoo, owl, egret, herons and the water duck, as well as the migratory Siberian duck. One doesn't have to be a wildlife enthusiast to enjoy Kerela's abundant bird life. Breatakingly beautiful birds regularly flash between the branches of trees or appear overhead perched on top of wires along the roadside.

Tiger Reserves

Home to some of the largest concentration of tigers on the planet, Periyar Tiger Reserve and Parambikulam Tiger Reserve are teeming with a rich lifestyle. In Periyar tiger reserve, one can see the gentle giants roaming around the herds; it is also home to a large number of butterfly species. Located on the evergreen hills of the Western Ghats, this tiger reserve is also one of the wildlife national parks in India. There is one more tiger reserve in Kerala i.e. Parambikulam tiger reserve. All thanks to less Human interference, the park is endowed with excellent peninsular flora and fauna.

Biosphere Reserves

There are 2 major biosphere reserves in India namely Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve. Covering a major portion of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the biosphere reserve covers over 1 00 species of mammals, 350 species of birds, 80 species of reptiles; about 39 species of fish, 31 amphibians, 60 species of reptiles 316 species of butterflies and innumerable invertebrates.

Parambikulam tiger reserve is the hidden gem of Kerala. For wildlife enthusiasts it's a must visit place, but it is also a wonderful place to spend a few days hiking or simply relaxing

Kerala has fourteen separate reserves set aside for the protection of wildlife, covering a little under five percent of state's total surface area.

Kerala is a pristine destination with its untamed wildlife, sun-kissed beaches and serene back waters. Here is a welcome call to the abode of god, where nature's wonders are highly scattered all around and untouched. Embark on a tour to exotic forest of Kerala and experience the wildlife and scenic beauty of God's own city. Mentioned here are some of the most interesting wildlife reserve, sanctuaries, national parks and tiger reserves which are worth a visit on a trip to Kerala.