Mukurthi National ParkMukurthi National Park is a 78.46 km˛ national park located between 11°10' to 11°22' N and 76°22' to 76°34' E., central location: [show location on an interactive map] 11°16?N, 76°32?E. It is in the south-eastern corner of the Nilgiris Plateau west of Ootacamund hill station in Nilgiri District, Tamil Nadu state in the Western Ghats mountain range of South India. The park is a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, India's first Biosphere Reserve The park is characterized by Montane grasslands and shrublands interspersed with sholas. It is home to an array of endangered wildlife, including Royal Bengal Tiger and Asian Elephant, but its main attraction is the Nilgiri Tahr. The park was previously known as Nilgiri Tahr National Park.
Annual rainfall varies from 2010 mm to 6330 mm (79.1 - 249.2 inches). The park
has an elongated crescent shape facing to the west. It is bordered on
the west by Nilambur South Forest Division, to the northwest by Gudalur
Forest Division, to the northeast, east and southeast by South Forest
Division and to the south by Mannarghat Forest Division. At its southwest
tip the peaks of this park straddle the northeast corner of Silent Valley
National Park of Kerala.
Flora and faunaMukurthi is near the northern end of the range of the Nilgiri Tahr. A 3 day census in March 2007 estimated 200 Tahrs in the park including 60 young ones sighted.There are also Elephants, Tigers, Leopards, Nilgiri langur, Bonnet macaques, Sambar deer, Barking deer, Nilgiri Marten, Otter, Jungle cat, Wild dogs and Jackal.
Avifauna consists mostly of hill birds including Laughingthrushs, Whistling Thrushs, Woodcock, Wood Pigeon, Black-and-orange Flycatcher, Nilgiri Flycatcher, Grey Headed Flycatcher Black Bulbuls, White-eyes, Nilgiri Pipit. The predatory Black-winged Kites, Kestrels and Black Eagle may be seen in the grasslands.
The area is home to many species of reptiles and amphibians including the Horseshoe Pit Viper (Trimeresurus strigatus) and Salea horsfieldii.
Butterflies with Himalayan affinity like the Blue Admiral, Indian Red Admiral, Indian Fritillary, Indian Cabbage white and Hedge blues are seen here. Some streams had been stocked with exotic Rainbow Trout in the past.
The area is also home to numerous endemics particularly of the annual Impatiens plants. The natural habitats of the park have been much disturbed by easy motor vehicle access through four different entry points and extensive commercial planting and harvesting of non-native eucalyptus and wattle (Acacia dealbata, Acacia mearnsii and other species). In addition there is one large, and several smaller hydro-electric impoundments in the area
Only 20% of the park area has more than a 50% chance of being used by Tahr. If motor vehicle access were restricted and commercial forests removed, usable Tahr habitat would increase to 60%
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