Monday, August 28, 2023

Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary

Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

The Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated along the Western Ghats in the state of Kerala, India. It is a component of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and contributes to the Wayanad Elephant Reserve.

The sanctuary encompasses the watersheds of the Kuttiady River. Reservoirs such as Kakkayam, Peruvannamuzhy, and Banasuramala are crucial sources of drinking water and hydroelectric power for the Kozhikode district. The dam site at Urakkuzhi is known for its eco-tourism potential and natural beauty.

The sanctuary covers various habitats, including West Coast tropical evergreen forest, West Coast semievergreen forest, Southern moist mixed deciduous forest, Southern hill-top evergreen forest, grassland, and marshy grassland.

The sanctuary is a popular destination for eco-tourism, attracting around 40,000 visitors annually. It features reservoirs, an animal rehabilitation center, waterfalls, streams, and the Indian Institute of Spice Research.

Table of Contents

  • Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary Location
  • Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary History
  • Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary Area
  • Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary River
  • Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary Flora
  • Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary Location

The Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary is located along the Western Ghats in the Chakkittapara and Koorachundu revenue villages of Koyilandy Taluk in Kozhikode district, Kerala, India. 

Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary is the Kozhikode International Airport. It's the primary airport serving the region and is located in Kozhikode (Calicut), Kerala, India.

Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary is the Kozhikode Railway Station. It's a major railhead in the region and provides connectivity to various parts of Kerala and beyond.

Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary History

Establishment and Notification: The Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary, located along the Western Ghats in Kerala, India, was officially established as a protected area in the year 2010. The notification of its status as a wildlife sanctuary marked a significant step in the conservation and preservation of the region's rich biodiversity and natural habitats.

Conservation Efforts and Biodiversity Protection: The establishment of the Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary is part of broader conservation efforts aimed at protecting the unique flora and fauna found in the Western Ghats region. The Western Ghats are renowned as a global biodiversity hotspot, harboring a wide variety of plant and animal species, including many that are endemic and rare. By creating a sanctuary, authorities aimed to provide a safe haven for these species and their habitats.

Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary Area

The Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of approximately 74.22 square kilometers. The sanctuary's relatively extensive size allows it to encompass a variety of habitats and support a diverse range of plant and animal species.

Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary River

The Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary's area includes the watersheds of the Kuttiady River. The Kuttiady River is a significant watercourse that flows through the region. 

Watersheds are the areas of land from which all water drains into a common river or set of rivers. In this context, the Kuttiady River and its associated watersheds are integral to the ecosystem of the sanctuary, providing essential water resources for both wildlife and the local communities.

Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

The Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary boasts a diverse range of flora due to its location along the Western Ghats, which is known for its rich biodiversity. 

The sanctuary encompasses various habitats, including West Coast tropical evergreen forests, West Coast semievergreen forests, Southern moist mixed deciduous forests, Southern hill-top evergreen forests, grasslands, and marshy grasslands (vayal). 

Here are some of the plant species that are found within the sanctuary:

Meteoromyrtus wynaadensis: A species of shrub or small tree, often found in moist and shady areas.

Syzygium stocksii: A type of flowering plant belonging to the Myrtaceae family, known for its edible fruits.

Eugenia argentea: Also from the Myrtaceae family, this plant may have silvery leaves and bear small fruits.

Syzygium floccosum: Another species of Syzygium, characterized by its clusters of flowers and potential fruit.

Atuna indica: Commonly known as Indian walnut, this tree produces edible nuts and is found in various habitats.

Coffea crassifolia: A coffee species native to the region, growing in the sanctuary's diverse habitats.

Garcinia malabarica: Also known as Malabar tamarind, this plant produces fruits used in traditional medicine.

Humboldtia brunonis Var. Rakthapushpa: This plant might be recognized for its distinctive red flowers.

Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

Which animal is protected in Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary?

The Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary, situated in the Western Ghats of Kerala, India, is home to a diverse range of animal species due to its varied habitats and ecological niches. 

Here are some of the animal species that might be found within the sanctuary:


The sanctuary is home to approximately 41 species of mammals, including six Western Ghats endemics. This include species such as Indian elephants, Indian bison (gaur), tigers, leopards, various deer species, wild boars, and smaller mammals like different types of civets, mongooses, and bats.


The sanctuary hosts around 179 species of birds, contributing to the region's avian diversity. Birdwatching enthusiasts spot species like various species of hornbills, woodpeckers, bulbuls, flycatchers, mynas, and a range of other resident and migratory birds.


The Western Ghats are known for their rich reptilian fauna. The sanctuary might be home to various snake species, including the King Cobra, which is a significant and iconic reptile of the region. Other snake species, lizards, and possibly different types of amphibians could also inhabit the sanctuary.

Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. In which state Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary is located?/Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary district?

A. The Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the state of Kerala, India. It is situated in the Kozhikode district of Kerala. The sanctuary spans across the Chakkittapara and Koorachundu revenue villages of Koyilandy Taluk in the Kozhikode district.

Q. What is the altitude of Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary?

A. Kakkayam Wildlife Sanctuary is located at an altitude of 2,500 meters above sea level. This higher altitude region within the sanctuary likely supports its own unique set of flora and fauna due to the different environmental conditions at this elevation. 

Q. What is Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary famous for?

A. The Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for several reasons:

(i) Biodiversity Hotspot: Being located in the Western Ghats, a globally recognized biodiversity hotspot, the sanctuary is famous for its rich and diverse range of flora and fauna. The Western Ghats are home to numerous endemic and rare species, making it an important area for conservation.

(ii) Unique Habitats: The sanctuary encompasses various habitats, including tropical evergreen forests, semi-evergreen forests, mixed deciduous forests, hill-top evergreen forests, grasslands, and marshy grasslands. This diversity of habitats contributes to the sanctuary's ecological significance.

(iii) Endemic Species: The Western Ghats are known for their many endemic species, which are found nowhere else in the world. The sanctuary likely harbors several such species, making it a focal point for researchers and conservationists interested in these unique organisms.

(iv) Tourism and Eco-Tourism: The sanctuary's natural beauty, waterfalls, and diverse landscapes attract tourists and nature enthusiasts. It offers opportunities for eco-tourism and outdoor activities, promoting awareness about the importance of conserving the environment.

(v) Connection to Western Ghats: The sanctuary is part of the Western Ghats, which have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to their biological diversity and unique geological features.

(vi) Water Resources: The sanctuary's watersheds contribute to the water resources of the region, including reservoirs that provide drinking water and hydroelectric power for local communities.

Malabar Wildlife Sanctuary

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