GOD'S OWN COUNTRY' THROUGH PHILATELY
FLORA & FAUNA IN KERALA
|Flora and Fauna of Kerala are hugely supported by the
rich soil, heavy rainfall and damp climate. All these factors have
given rise to a diverse variety of flora in the region. Forest area is
largely spread over the Western Ghats. The Western Ghats represent one
of the 18 hot spots of bio-diversity of the world and is considered to
be a depositary of endemic, rare and endangered flora and fauna. Forest
trees can be broadly classified as timber trees and flower trees. Teak
tree, rosewood and ebony are the most important in the first category.
Among the flowering trees, the more important are the Barringtonia and
varieties of Bauhinia and Hibiscus. Jack Fruit Tree and mango tree are
found almost in all the regions of the state.
The recorded forest area of Kerala is 11,125.59 sq km. This includes
9157.10 sq km reserve forests; 214.31 sq km proposed reserve and 1754.18
sq. km vested forest. Out of the total of 11,125 sq km of recorded
forest area, the effective (actual) forest area in Kerala is only 9400
sq km. The forests in the state can be divided into seven major types,
which are subdivided into many sub-types depending upon the floristic
composition and site factors. According to this classification, there
are 28 vegetation types in the state of Kerala.
Besides the flora, Kerala's fauna is varied too. The forests are
abounding in elephants, black leopards, tigers, sloth bears, giant
squirrels and a variety of deer. The delightful specimens of the bird
life include the charming little honey-sucker with glorious metallic
colours, the golden-backed woodpecker, the little white-eyed tit which
creeps among the leaves, and the Malabar whistling thrush which has
earned the name 'Drunken Plough Boy' by its musical exertions. The area
is covered by the two national parks, twelve wild life sanctuaries and
one biosphere coming under the category of protected areas in Kerala. It
is near about 2.32 lakh hectares. It is around 25 per cent of the total
area under forests and around six per cent of the total geographical
area, which is higher than the national average of five per cent.
Protected areas showcase the bio-diversity of Kerala.