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Anamudi Shola National Park
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Draft notification for the Anamudi Shola National Park was issued as recently as 2003. It is a small reserve with a total area of 7.5 sq km, located between 10º05'N-10º20'N latitude and 77º0'E-77º10'E longitude, consisting of Mannavan Shola, Idivara Shola and Pullardi Shola. Sholas or high elevation evergreen forests interspersed with grasslands are characterised by dense formations of stunted trees belonging primarily to the genera Litsea, Syzigium and Microtropis. The elevation within this national park ranges from 2,152-2,305 m. It is a very high rainfall area with an annual average of about 4,500 mm1,2.

Despite its small size, the national park protects some pristine evergreen and shola grassland habitats that are unique to the Western Ghats. The park has some of the highest levels of floristic diversity to be found in the Western Ghats. It contains highly endemic flora, including a plant commonly known as 'neelakkurinj' (Strobilanthes kunthianus). The remarkable thing about this plant is that it flowers only once in 12 years and when it does, the sight is spectacular as entire hillsides are covered in a carpet of lavender-blue flowers. The mass flowering affects ecological processes as the flowers provide pollen and nectar resources for various animal species. It also has great cultural significance for the Muthuvans, a local tribal community, who consider it to be an auspicious event3.

Anamudi Shola National Park provides valuable wildlife habitat connectivity between Mathikettan Shola National Park, Eravikulam National Park, Pambadum Shola National Park, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kurinjimala Wildlife Sanctuary, all of which surround this protected area. This national park forms part of the Anamalai sub-cluster, which was recently nominated for consideration for World Heritage Site status under UNESCO's World Heritage Programme.

The park is adjacent to the extensive tea plantations of Devikolam and Munnar and is therefore potentially subject to threats such as encroachment of natural habitats by tea planters, as well as heavy use of pesticides and fertilisers in neighboring plantations, which would affect several taxa particularly amphibians, fish and invertebrates.


1 . Accessed on 6 December 2007.
2 Accessed on 6 December 2007.
3 Accessed on 6 December 2007.

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