Srivilliputhur Giant Squirrel Sanctuary is located in Tamilnadu, India. the Srivilliputhur sanctuary falls under two districts Virudhanagar and Madurai. it was declared a sanctuary in 1989. Given its vast geographical expanse, Spread over 46,800 hectares. The varied climatic and topographic conditions of the Western Ghats, where this sanctuary is located, make it one of the richest and largest repositories for biodiversity in the country.
Flora and Fauna in Srivilliputhur Giant Squirrel Sanctuary
In the Virudhunagar region dense forests are found on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats. Along the mountain slope a large number of rare and endemic varieties of flora and fauna are found. This sanctuary has a composition of dry deciduous forests, moist mixed deciduous forests and grasslands. Annual rainfall recorded in the region is 849.1 mm.
The sanctuary is home to the endangered, grizzled giant squirrel Ratufa macrora. This greyish brown squirrel weighs around 2 kg and is the size of a small cat. Grizzled Giant Squirrels are available here in plenty. In addition a wide array of other mammals and reptiles can be easily spotted here like flying squirrel, Tree Shrew, Elephant, Lion- tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Tahar, Mouse Deer, Barking Deer, and many more.
Visitors can enjoy an adventurous wildlife tour in Srivilliputhur Giant Squirrel Sanctuary during any part of the year. Recently special steps have been taken towards conservation of the forest areas in the sanctuary, thus restoring the natural wealth of the region, making it more adventurous to explore the wild surroundings.
Animals in Srivilliputhur Giant Squirrel Sanctuary
The sanctuary hosts a variety of birds, mammals, reptiles and several other wild creatures. Animals that can be easily sighted here are tiger, leopard, Nilgiri thar, spotted deer, barking deer, sambar, wild boar, tree shrew, porcupine, Nilgiri langur, lion-tailed macaque, common langur, slender loris, mouse deer bonnet macaque, sloth bear and flying squirrel.
Birds in Srivilliputhur Giant Squirrel Sanctuary
Hundreds of species of birds have been identified here, including several endemic species and others coming here during the breeding season. The heterogeneous geographical surroundings of this sanctuary, consisting of dry deciduous forests, moist, mixed deciduous forests and grasslands, provides an ecologically rich habitat to a large number of birds, including several endemic species and others coming during the breeding season. A long list can be drawn of the magnificent birds present here and the most popular among these is the rare great Indian hornbill. The Great Indian Hornbills are one of the largest hornbills and these are found on sea level up to 5000 feet above ground. Great Indian Hornbills like to eat various types of berries. Hornbills swallow most of their food whole instead of breaking it down first. Hornbills are famous for their nesting ritual.
Now these beautiful hornbills are becoming rare, mainly due to their large hunting for their meat and destruction of their natural habitat. Hopefully protection and restoration of destructed forest areas food-tree resources, will aid the conservation of hornbills in the region.
When to Visit Srivilliputhur Giant Squirrel Sanctuary
Srivilliputhur Giant Squirrel Sanctuary provides a good opportunity to view wild animals and birds throughout the year (except for the months of March, April and May). You can stay at the Forest Rest Houses at Mudungiar, Pudupatti, and Mudaliaroothu, and P.W.D. Rest Houses at Srivilliputhur.
How to Reach Srivilliputhur Giant Squirrel Sanctuary
By Air: Nearest airport is Madurai, located at a distance of 100 km.
By Train: Nearest Railway station is Srivilliputhur, just 15 km away.
By Road: Buses are available from Tirunelveli, Madurai, Virudunagar, and Srivilliputur.