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Declared as a sanctuary in December 1989, it falls in the two districts mostly in Virdhunagar District and partly in Madurai district. Spreads over 480 sq.km, the sanctuary is the confluence of two distinct geographical regions of biodiversity landscape in the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu state and Kerala state. It is contiguous to Periyar Tiger Reserve on the South western side and the Megamalai Reserve Forest on the north western side. Its southern limit is contiguous with the Sivagiri Reserved Forst of Tirunelveli Forest Division.
The tributaries of the river Vaipaar and few rivulets draining into the river Gundaar river are running through the sanctuary which provides water in the habitat for vegetation and wildlife.
There are two dams viz. Pilavakkal and Koilar situated along the foothills of the sanctuary which are the best places to see water birds and other wildlife. There is one rest house situated inside the sanctuary in Mudaliar Oothu, one of the best places to see the Nilgiri Tahr.
Besides Grizzled Giant Squirrel, the sanctuary is a habitat for endangered species such as tiger, leopard, Nilgiri Tahr and Lion-tailed Macaque. There are no roads, so the sanctuary can only be visited on foot and guides are available on request from the Sanctuary office to accompany tourists on treks.
The climate is generally hot and dry in the foothills. Hot tropical climate prevails in the upper elevations. The average annual rainfall ranges from 800- 2300 mm .
The sanctuary can be visited throughout the year.
The forest sub-types found in the Sanctuary are; West coast tropical evergreen forest, West coast semi-evergreen forest, dry teak forest, Southern mixed deciduous forest and dry grass land. These forests are found on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats.
Only 6.3% of the total geographical area is under forests. The sanctuary has a wide range of floral diversity and many of them are found along the mountain slopes. The sanctuary has one Medicinal Plant Conservation Area (MPCA) located at Thaniparai.
Apart from the grizzled giant squirrel, there is a wide range of herbivores, carnivores and omnivores in the Grizzled Squirrel Sanctuary. Resident and migrating elephants are common. Always, elephants from the Periyar Tiger Reserve migrate to the Srivilliputhur sanctuary in search of food and water.
The other important animals are Tiger, Leopard, Gaur, Nilgiri tahr, Mouse Deer, Spotted deer, Barking deer, Sambar, Wild-boar, Porcupine, Nilgiri langur, Lion-tailed macaque, Common langur, Slender lorris, Bonnet Macaque, Sloth bear, Indian Giant Squirrel, Flying Squirrel, Tree shrews, Wild cats and Palm civets.
The reptiles found here are the Serpent Eagle, Hawks and Black Eagle. The Sanctuary has 18 species of snakes, 15 species of lizards, over 10 species of amphibians and over 56 species of butterflies.
Over 200 species of avifauna have been reported from this sanctuary. Besides rich population of the Great Pied Hornbill, it includes some rare birds such as the Red faced Malkoha, Nilgiri Flycatcher and Malayan Night Heron.
Fee : Still Camera Fee: Rs. 25/-; Video
Camera Fee:Rs. 150/-; Parking Fee:Rs. 15/-; Entry Fee: Child (Below 5
Years) - Free. Child (5 To 12 Years) - Rs. 10/- Adults - Rs. 15/-