MALAPPURAM: The district would soon get its first wildlife sanctuary as the government is likely to declare the new Amarambalam reserve forest area as a wildlife sanctuary within a month. The draft notification submitted by the divisional forest officer of Nilambur south regarding this is in the final stage of processing. The 265- sq. km protected area which has high rainfall and thick forest cover is a buffer zone of the Silent Valley National Park and lies near the Nilgiri biosphere reserve in Tamil Nadu. “We are expecting to get the official declaration on the sanctuary soon. The draft notification for the declaration which was sent a month ago is under the consideration of the government,” DFO
S. Sun said.
The environmentalists and forest officials have for long been demanding to declare the area as a wildlife sanctuary considering its rich flora and fauna. This is a rare forest comprising five types such as grasslands, shoal forests, evergreen forests, semi-evergreen forests and deciduous forests. According to environmentalists, the reserve forest is one of the most environmentally significant areas in the country with the presence of various endangered and threatened species of animals and birds. Amarambalam is classified as an important bird area of the Western Ghats endemic bird area where 16 restricted range species have been identified. Of this, eight species have been sighted in Amarambalam. “With the declaration as a wild life sanctuary, the forest is expected to get enhanced care and protection with more forest staffers and funds,” environmentalist and director of Nilambur Prakrithi Padana Kendram, Jayaprakash Nilambur said.