Srivilliputhur Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary
Srivilliputhur Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary was declared in December 1989. This Sanctuary is located in the Western Ghats and covers the area of Srivilliputhur, Watrap, Saptur (Madurai district), Rajapalayam, Seithur, and Devathanam. It is the eastern boundary for the river Periyar and one of the best-preserved forests in the south of Tamilnadu state. The altitude in this region varies from 100 to 2010 meter above sea level. It receives rain from both southwest and northeast monsoons. The varied climate and topographic conditions prevailing here present remarkable diversity both in Flora and Fauna.
The Grizzled Squirrel (Ratufa macroura) –flagship species of this sanctuary is highly restricted to south India and Sri Lanka. Ratufa macroura dandolena is distinctive in having the dorsal surface and tail grey or brownish grey more or less grizzled with white. It breeds once a year, producing a single offspring. The distribution of the Grizzled Squirrels is restricted to seven isolated riparian dry deciduous forests in the Sanctuary.
The sanctuary is inhabited by extremely rich and diverse fauna. Over 200 species of avifauna have been reported from this sanctuary that includes some rare birds such as the Red-faced Malkoha, Nilgiri Flycatcher and Malayan Night Heron. The Great Pied Hornbill is well and widely distributed in the Sanctuary The main raptors are the Serpent Eagle, Hawks, and Black Eagle. The Sanctuary has 18 species of snakes, 15 species of lizards, over 10 species of amphibians and over 56 species of butterflies now.
There is a wide range of animals can be seen in the Grizzled Squirrel Sanctuary. Resident and migrating elephants are common. The other important animals are Tiger, Leopard, Gaur, Nilgiri tahr, Spotted deer, Barking deer, Sambar, Wild-boar, Porcupine, Nilgiri langur, Lion-tailed macaque, Common langur, Slender lorris, Bonnet macaque, Sloth bear, Indian Giant Squirrel, and Flying Squirrel. There is a rest house in the place called “Mudaliar Oothu”, where you can see the Nilgiri Tahr, elephants, wild pig, spotted Deer, sambhar, Barking Deer and panther.
The sanctuary can be visited throughout the year. For more detail, you can contact wildlife warden, Srivilliputhur Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary, Srivillipputhur -626125.