‘Maoists’ open fire at Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary

Context: Forest officials of Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala), have reported an incidence of firing by suspected Maoists.

Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary

Location:

  • It is situated in the southeastern part of the Kannur district in the state of Kerala.
  • It is located on the western slopes of Western Ghats
  • Aralam is Kerala’s northernmost wildlife sanctuary. 
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Drainage:

  • The Cheenkannipuzha / Cheenkanni River forms the main drainage system on the southern side.
  • Narikkadavuthodu, Kurukkathodu and Meenumuttithodu from the northern upper reaches, they flow southwards to join Cheenkannipuzha.    

Biodiversity:

  • Forest: The wildlife sanctuary exhibits a variety of forests which includes
  1. West Coast tropical evergreen forest.
  2. West Coast semi-evergreen forests. 
  3. South Indian moist deciduous forest
  4. Southern hilltop evergreen forest and plantations  
  • This is the only protected area of the West Coast Tropical Evergreen forest of Dipterocarpus-Mesua-Palaquium type. 
  • Dipterocarpus-Mesua-Palaquium – These forests occur in areas adjoining tropical wet evergreen, and form a transition between the evergreen and moist deciduous forests.

Flora and Fauna :

  • Surrounded and adjoined by the continuous forests of Kodagu and Wayanad, this sanctuary harbours a wide variety of fauna and flora which belong to the Western Ghats indigenousness. 
  • It is home to a wide variety of species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fishes.
  •  Elephant, Gaur, Tiger, Panther,Sambar, Spotted deer, Barking deer, Wild boar, Sloth bear, Nilgiri langur, Bonnet macaque, Common langur, Wild dog, common otter, Malabar giant squirrel etc are the major mammals.
The presence of Malabar Slender Loris with other five primate species is one of the main highlights of the sanctuary.
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The unique geographical and climatical conditions of the sanctuary help in sustaining a wide variety of butterflies too. Well-known for its butterflies and butterfly migration, Aralam is also called the “Land of Butterflies”.
Source: The Hindu

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