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The Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala houses numerous species of animal and plant life.

Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary

Considered to be one of the richest areas of bio-diversity in Western Ghats, Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary is a part of Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve. Constituted in 1984, the sanctuary derives its name from from a tree locally called 'Chenkurinji' or 'Chenkurunji' (Gluta Travancorica), which is widespread throughout this region. Located in the heart of the forest is an artificial lake spread over 26 sq km created by the Parappar Dam, built across the Shendurney and Kulathupuzha rivers. This lake forms one of the most distinguished attractions of the sanctuary. Since the entire area is sited in hillocks, the sanctuary stretches out at varying altitudes, protruding from 100 m to the highest peak Alwarkurichi at 1550 m.

The richness of the forest is evident with the presence of tropical evergreen forests, tropical semi evergreen forests, moist mixed deciduous forests, reed brakes, swamps, and grasslands covering the sanctuary. With 951 species of flowering plants from 150 families, the sanctuary is a treasure of plant diversity. As per statistics, 34 species of mammals, 245 of birds, 36 of reptiles, 22 of amphibians, 42 of fish, and some rare butterfly species are reported to be dwelling in the sanctuary. Visitors are likely to come across animals like elephants, wild boar, tigers, jungle cats, leopards, bisons, langurs, sambars, lion-tailed macaques, and deer. Although several species of birds are identified to be living in the sanctuary, but new species are discovered each year. These include Ceylon frogmouth, forest eagle owl, brown wood owl, short-toed eagle, and yellow-cheeked tit.

The Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary receives an annual rainfall of around 2600 mm to 3000 mm, which is well distributed through the year. Both southwest monsoons (May-Aug) and northeast monsoons (Sept-Nov) make up for the annual rainfalls with the former contributing a major portion. The climate is hot and humid but fairly even-tempered. The temperature generally varies between 17 0C and 35 0C. The maximum temperature during the hottest month can reach to about 39 0C during daytime. The months from March to May are the hottest while December and January are the coldest.

Other attractions in the sanctuary include trekking and trail trips organized by the authorities. One major highlight of the tour to Shendurney includes a night stay at the treetop hut constructed on a tree, 50 ft above the ground with facilities of bedroom and attached toilet. Nearby attractions include suspension bridge at Punalur, waterfalls at Palaruvi, and waterfalls at Courtallam. Accommodation facilities are made available by the Thenmala Ecotourism Promotion Society, apart from being available at the information centre of the sanctuary also. Months from October to February are generally considered the best season for paying a visit to Shendurney. The nearest railway station is Kollam (75 km) while the closests airport is Thiruvananthapuram (75 km).

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