IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


1st February, 2024 Environment


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Picture Courtesy: https://www.explorewithecokats.com/eravikulam-national-park-safari/

Context: Eravikulam National Park closes from February 1 for the calving season of the Nilgiri tahr.

Eravikulam National Park

  • Eravikulam National Park is the first national park established in Kerala. It was declared a national park in 1978.
  • Initially established to protect the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, it has blossomed into a haven for diverse flora and fauna.
  • The park's name itself draws inspiration from the Neelakurinji, a flower that paints the hills in a mesmerizing blue bloom every 12 years.

Rivers and Mountains

  • While no major rivers flow within the park's boundaries, several perennial streams crisscross the landscape, eventually merging into tributaries of the Periyar and Cauvery rivers.
  • The Lakkom Waterfalls are located within the park's boundaries.
  • The park is situated within the Kannan Devan Hills, a mountain range in the Western Ghats.
  • Anamudi, the highest peak in South India at 2,695 meters, is located within the park.

Flora and Fauna

  • Eravikulam boasts a staggering 1,200 species of flowering plants.
  • The shola forests, patches of evergreen vegetation within the grasslands, harbour unique plant life and provide crucial habitats for many species.
  • The park's primary aim is to conserve the endangered Nilgiri Tahr, a mountain goat species found only in the Western Ghats.
  • The park is home to a variety of animals, including:
    • Mammals: Nilgiri Tahr, Sambar deer, Indian muntjac, Gaur, Asian elephant, Nilgiri langur, and more.
    • Birds: Grizzled Giant Squirrel, Nilgiri Pipit, Nilgiri Laughingthrush, Rufous-bellied Eagle, and various migratory birds.
    • Reptiles: King cobra, Indian cobra, Malabar pit viper, and diverse snake and lizard species.

Must Read Articles:

Eravikulam National Park: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/eravikulam-national-park 


Q. Eravikulam National Park is home to a unique species of wildflower known as:

A. Neelakurinji

B. Rhododendron arboreum

C. Shola grass

D. Indian gentian

Answer: A

Explanation: Neelakurinji is a rare and endemic wildflower that blooms only once every 12 years in the high-altitude regions of Eravikulam National Park.