Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Pampadum Shola - The Home of the Evasive Nilgiri Marten

Pampadum Shola National Park in Munnar is located on the southern portion of Western Ghats and is a safe haven for the rare and most elusive Nilgiri Marten. Due to the presense of the Nilgiri Marten, the eco-tourism activities at Pampadum Shola National Park  require careful planning and regular review. The Nilgiri Marten almost looks like a civet or a mongoose and it most prefers areas with higher altitudes.

The earlier information about the Nilgiri Marten was that it was a solitary animal. But recente experiences have shown that that they can be spotted as pairs and triplets as well. The authorities have been able to gather information on the dietary habits of the carnivorous animal. There were almost 42 independent sightings in Pampadum Shola, and the researchers feel the area and its extended forest area stretches in Kerala and Tamil Nadu constitute the largest haven of the elusive mustelids. The number is very crucial as the global population of the Nilgiri Marten is estimated only below 1000.

Pampadum Shola comes under Munnar Wildlife Division, and enjoys proximity of Kurunjimala Wildlife Sanctuary and Palani hills of Tamil Nadu. The shola grass lands in this region have significant presence of Nilgiri Marten.

Recently the researchers have also recorded their sounds along with their hunting patterns. The Nilgiri Martens is often found to engage in allo-grooming and resting on fallen tree trunks. During the day time, the Nilgiri Martens remain restless and active. The Nilgiri Martens has become one of the prime attractions for those visiting Munnar and most of the travellers are seen busy trying to spot this rare species and take a snap or two.

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