Wild life tourism in Kerala
Wild life Tourism has been looked upon mainly in economic terms. India can earn a sizeable foreign exchange by promoting wild life tourism. For city-bred youths, a stay in a Sanctuary or National Park can be an experience, which cannot be equalled. In an increasing urban environment, a family visit to such an area can lay the groundwork for a useful and realistic facet of education. It provides knowledge of nature, and how each species functions and interacts with the others. The feeling of being near to a tiger or to a wolf causes a sensation in your nerves. Wild life is truly an awesome inspiring experience. The very nearness of this savage beauty, seen or unseen, in its natural habitat is an experience of a lifetime.
In order to get the most out of a visit to any sanctuary, it is desirable to have something about the forest itself- the kind of forest whether it is deciduous, evergreen, sub-tropical, tropical, temperate or rain forest. Which are the principal trees you would expect to see there? Which are the principal animals, and which birds? So also, a little knowledge about the habits of the wild life would be of great help. This makes it easier to understand and remember the movements of the animals. The best way to enjoy and learn from the National Parks is not just to take a quick round and rush out. The very early mornings and late afternoons is the right time to be in the forest. In order to get something from the experience, one should spend long stretches of time in the same area, visiting it time and again, at different times of the year, watching the changes not only in the vegetation, but in the behaviour of the animals as well.
The Western Ghats, the natural
mountain barriers of Kerala, bordering Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are home to the
majority of Keralaís forests and wildlife. Not long ago, these forests made
a contiguous path for animal migration. But the unrestricted migration of vast
populations from the plains in search of cultivable lands during the 50ís and
60ís saw the alarming denudation of the forest cover and along with it the
destruction of wildlife. Where once the elephants roamed free are now farmlands
and this has invariably lead to encounters with disastrous results. There is
however, a ray of hope with the environmental movement getting an upper hand to
stop the plunder of these forests. The Wildlife Sanctuaries of Kerala now are
the only protected enclaves for the wildlife and the exceptionally good
management of some of these is cause for hope and optimism.
The Wildlife Parks, reserves, sanctuaries and National Parks stretch from the southern tip of Kerala to the Northern Border with Karnataka.
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