March 21 is declared as the INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FORESTS

Chapter 3: Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve (KMTR) – The Study Area

Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve or KMTR– the 17th Tiger Reserve in India was established in 1988. The reserve is located at the Southern end of the Western Ghats in Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts of Tamil Nadu. The total area of the reserve is 895.39 km2 and lies between latitudes 8°21´27˝ to 8°53´02˝ North and between longitudes 77°10´10˝ to 77°34´28˝ East. (Map : 3.1 – on Front Inner Wrapper)

3.1. Western Ghats and KMTR

The Western Ghats form a practically unbroken relief dominating the Western coast of the Indian Peninsula for almost 1,600 km. They extend from  the mouth of the river Tapti (21°N) to the tip of South India (about 8°N) the only major break in the chain being the Palghat Gap (Pascal, 1988)20. The Western Ghats may be divided into three major regions namely

  1. Northern Western Ghats (River Tapti to Goa),
  2. Central Western Ghats (Goa -River Kalinadi to Coorg) and
  3. Southern Western Ghats (South of Coorg to Tirunelveli hill complex).

KMTR is located at the South portion of the Southern Western Ghats (SWG) in the Districts of Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari. The various parts and the major centres of florishtic endemism of Western Ghats and KMTR- the Study Area are shown in Map – 3.2 A, B, C and D. A brief description of each part of Western Ghats is given below:

20 Pascal J.P. 1988. Wet Evergreen forests of the Western Ghats of India; Ecology, structure, floristic composition and succession. Institut Francais de Pondicherry.

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