Significance

Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the rain shadow region of Western Ghats and represents a large number of plants and animals unique to the thorny vegetation. Apart from the dry thorn forests, due to the significant variation in altitude and rainfall, it has a wide array of habitat types like deciduous forests, dry thorny forest, riparian forest, sholas and grasslands that are interspersed with plains, hillocks, rocks and cliffs which provide microhabitats for
varied forms of life. The Sanctuary falls under the Anamudi Elephant Reserve. It is an abode of reptilian fauna and the richest in Kerala in terms of the number of species. Albizia lathamii, a critically endangered species has been reported from the dry forests of Chinnar. It is a well known repository of medicinal plants. The riverine forests along Chinnar and Pambar support a healthy population of Grizzled Giant Squirrel. The famous ‘white bison of Manjampatti’ has been reported from Chinnar. With 225 species of birds, Chinnar is rich in avian diversity. In
association with the neighbouring PAs, Chinnar forms part of a viable conservation unit. The Sanctuary provides livelihood options and helps in maintaining the cultural heritage of tribes such as Hill Pulayas and Muthuvans. Archaeologically significant megalithic burial sites consisting of dolmens and cysts are found within the Sanctuary. Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary offers great opportunities for developing a dynamic model of biodiversity conservation in a human dominated landscape. It is the only habitat in the state where the endangered Grizzled Giant Squirrel (Ratufa macroura) and Indian Star Tortoise (Geochelone elegans) are seen.