Flora and fauna in Megamalai
The flora and fauna here is a delight to the traveler and more so for the adventurer, scientist, ornithologist and researchers in to the history of nature and the evolution of the various species of the animal kingdom. Megamalai is literally a gold mine for its ecological and environmental wealth.The region is covered with scrub forests in the foothills and the higher ranges are under cultivation of spices like cardamom, cinnamon and pepper and commercial crops like tea and coffee. The mountaintops are canopied with evergreen forests.
Megamalai is home to a diverse animal kingdom and provides a natural habitat to birds, reptiles, mammals and different species of butterflies. Domicile and migratory pachyderms are a common sight. Wild animals like leopards and tigers, deer, bear, wild boar and porcupines are also found in plenty.The birds that are popular here is the jungle fowl, wagtails, bulbuls, swallows, kites, shrikes, warblers and more than a hundred species of birds are identified. Conservation of the endangered hornbills is afoot and these birds have been hunted indiscriminately for their meat and destruction of their natural habitat. Remedial measures should help maintain the population of these fast dwindling species.The grizzled giant squirrel is also an endangered species. The rare trait that is found in this animal is that it builds two nests on the tree tops and while one is used for resting and the second for a nursery. This helps in keeping predators away and acts a natural defense mechanism.
Fruit bats are found only in this region and these bats propagate seed dispersal and are pollinating agents Venomous snakes are also found here and Hutton’s pit viper is commonly found in this region and the Malayan peninsular. Arnetta vindhiana is a butterfly commonly known as Vindhian Bob. This butterfly is a native of India and belongs to the Hesperidae family.Slender Loris is commonly known as Malabar gray slender loris or vangu in the colloquial term. The slender loris is an arboreal animal belonging to the species Loris. lydekkerianus malabaricus. This animal is a sub species of the gray slender loris found only in this region and not elsewhere in the Indian continent. This animal is small in size and is a nocturnal primate that lives in both dry and wet climes and thrives in high forests as well as lowlands
These animals take advantage of thick and thorny vegetation for their dwelling that help ward off predators. The vegetation is a prime location for the animals to find food that largely comprises of grubs, insects and assorted small creatures. The Southeastern Ghats is home for this animal that is found in huge numbers in the narrow strip of rainforest running down the stretch of the western part of India. This animal spends its life mostly in trees and travels on the treetops.
The animal slender loris is near about the chipmunk in size between fifteen to twenty five centimeters and weighs around three hundred grams. It has thin legs, a small tail and arms and a round head with large brown eyes that are set closely. Dark brown and also black color fur surrounds their eyes. They have a long nose with a heart shaped knob and the bridge is white in color. The ears are round and large in size. The animal has a mix of gray brown or red brown skin on its back and the belly area and chest in dirty white. The forearms, hands and feet are covered with short fur. They have small finger nails and the second digit on the hands and feet are on the same plane as the thumb. This helps their movement in the tree top branches with agility.
They hunt by themselves and live in pairs or in groups and get together at night time to share a meal. They spend the day sleeping in hollows of trees or on tree branches with fellow creatures. These creatures are social and at dusk fall they go around playing with their ilk.