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Mudumalai Tiger Reserve
Mudumalai Tiger Reserve is situated in the Nilgiri Hills in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The reserve is a part of the larger Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and shares its borders with Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka and Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala. The area of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve is approximately 321 sq. km.
The reserve was established in 1940 as a wildlife sanctuary, and in 1990, it was declared a tiger reserve. Mudumalai is known for its high tiger population, and according to the latest tiger census, there are around 50 tigers in the reserve.
Read about: Tiger Reserves in India
Mudumalai Tiger Reserve Landscape
Mudumalai Tiger Reserve is located in the Nilgiri Hills, which is part of the Western Ghats mountain range. The terrain is hilly and consists of dense forests, grasslands, and streams. The Moyar River flows through the reserve, providing water for the various flora and fauna. The highest peak in the reserve is Doddabetta Peak, which is approximately 2,637 meters above sea level. Other prominent peaks include the Kolaribetta and the Nilgiri Peaks. The Mudumalai Tiger Reserve is also home to several waterfalls, such as the Pykara and the Masinagudi falls, which add to the natural beauty of the area.
Read about: Pilibhit Tiger Reserve
Mudumalai Tiger Reserve Flora
The flora of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve is abundant and diverse, showcasing several unique species. Here’s a comprehensive classification of the flora found in the reserve, highlighting their distinct features.
|Moist Deciduous Forests||These forests are found in the lower altitude areas of the reserve and are dominated by teak, jackfruit, rosewood, and sandalwood. Other common trees include Indian laurel, Indian kino tree, and mango.|
|Dry Deciduous Forests||These forests are found in the higher altitudes and are dominated by trees such as axlewood, Indian kino tree, and black cobra’s saffron. Other trees found in these forests are Indian laburnum, flame of the forest, and bamboo.|
|Semi-Evergreen Forests||These forests are found in the transition zone between the moist deciduous forests and the wet evergreen forests. They are dominated by trees like crape myrtle, Indian rosewood, and black cutch.|
|Evergreen Forests||These forests are found in the higher altitudes and are characterized by a dense canopy cover. Trees such as ebony, giant crepe-myrtle, and flameback are common in these forests.|
|Grasslands||These grasslands are found in the valley areas of the reserve and are dominated by different species of grasses such as Chrysopogon zeylanicus, Imperata cylindrica, and Arundinella bengalensis.|
|Wetlands||The wetlands of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve are home to several aquatic plants such as lotus, water hyacinth, and water lilies.|
|Sholas||Sholas are unique forests found in the Western Ghats of India and are characterized by dwarf trees, bushes, and grasses. These forests are found in the high-altitude regions of the reserve and are important for their role in maintaining the water cycle and biodiversity of the region.|
Read about: Sariska Tiger Reserve
Mudumalai Tiger Reserve Fauna
The Mudumalai Tiger Reserve’s unique topography and climatic conditions have created a perfect habitat for diverse species of flora and fauna. Here is a description of the different types of fauna found here.
|Mammals||The reserve is home to around 50 species of mammals, including the Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, Asian elephant, Indian gaur, sloth bear, and many more. Mudumalai is one of the few places in India where one can spot all three big cats – tiger, leopard, and the Indian wild cat.|
|Birds||The reserve has over 200 species of birds, including the Malabar trogon, crested hawk-eagle, great Indian hornbill, and several species of owls, flycatchers, and sunbirds. Mudumalai is also home to several endemic bird species like the Nilgiri flycatcher, Nilgiri wood pigeon, and Nilgiri laughingthrush.|
|Reptiles||The reserve is known for its reptile population, which includes several species of snakes, lizards, and turtles. Some of the notable species include the Indian rock python, king cobra, vine snake, monitor lizard, and many more.|
|Amphibians||Mudumalai is home to around 50 species of amphibians, including several species of frogs, toads, and salamanders. The reserve is known for its unique and rare amphibian species like the bush frog, ornate narrow-mouthed frog, and many more.|
Read More: Jim Corbett National Park
Mudumalai Tiger Reserve Tourism
The Reserve offers a range of activities for visitors. One can enjoy wildlife safaris, birdwatching, trekking, and camping. The best time to visit the reserve is between October and May when the weather is pleasant and dry. The nearest railway stations are in Udhagamandalam (Ooty) and Coimbatore, both of which are well-connected to major cities in India.
To reach Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, visitors can hire a taxi or take a bus from Udhagamandalam or Coimbatore. The reserve also has a well-maintained road network, making it easily accessible.
One can spot a variety of wildlife including tigers, leopards, elephants, gaurs, and many species of deer. The reserve is also home to over 200 species of birds, making it a haven for birdwatchers. Visitors can take a safari to explore the wildlife and also trek through the lush green forests.
Read about: Wildlife Sanctuaries of India
Mudumalai Tiger Reserve UPSC
Mudumalai Tiger Reserve is an important topic in the UPSC Syllabus as it is one of the prominent tiger reserves in India. For gaining a better understanding of effective UPSC exam preparation, aspirants can explore the official StudyIQ UPSC Online Coaching website. Additionally, the website offers UPSC Mock Test for Prelims 2023, providing an opportunity to evaluate your level of preparation for the exam. Mudumalai Tiger Reserve is known for its rich and diverse flora and fauna, making it an important topic in the UPSC syllabus.
Read about: Biosphere Reserves in India