Protected areas of Tamil Nadu

The Protected areas of Tamil Nadu State in South India cover an area of 3,305 km2 (1,276 sq mi), constituting 2.54% of the geographic area and 15% of the 22,643 km2 (8,743 sq mi) recorded forest area. It ranks 14th among all the States and Union Territories of India in terms of total protected area.[1]

Creation and administration of Protected areas in South India originated with the Maharajas of the Southern Princely States' private hunting grounds. The Mudumalai National Park, established in 1940, was the first modern Wildlife Sanctuary in South India. Most protected areas throughout its 30 Districts are under the stewardship of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (India) and the Tamil Nadu Forest Department.


Biosphere reserves

The three Biosphere Reserves in Tamil Nadu are:[3]

National parks

Tamil Nadu has five National Parks covering 307.84 km2 (118.86 sq mi).[3]

Wildlife sanctuaries

Tamil Nadu has the following wildlife sanctuaries:[3]

Elephant reserves

Tamil Nadu participates in Project Elephant, and has five elephant sanctuaries.

  • Nilgiri Elephant Reserve: 4,663 km2 (1,800 sq mi), protected area 716 km2 (276 sq mi); established 2003.
  • Coimbatore Elephant Reserve: 566 km2 (219 sq mi), protected area 482 km2 (186 sq mi); established 2003.
  • Anamalai Elephant Reserve 1,457 km2 (563 sq mi), protected area 300 km2 (120 sq mi); established 2003.
  • Srivilliputtur Elephant Reserve, 1,249 km2 (482 sq mi), protected area 568 km2 (219 sq mi); established 2002.

Tiger reserves

Though The 2008 census indicated a decline in tiger population all over India, the only exception was in Tamil Nadu where the animals' numbers have increased to 76 from 60 five years ago.[4][5] Tamil Nadu participates in Project Tiger and has four tiger reserves:

Bird sanctuaries

Conservation reserves and community reserves

  • Thirupudaimaruthur Conservation Reserve


Two zoos in Tamil Nadu are recognised by the Central Zoo Authority of India. The state has many other smaller zoos as well.

Crocodile farms

Tamil Nadu five crocodile farms:

Regional cooperation

Senior forestry officials cooperate on mutual issues concerning conservation and protection of forests and wildlife of the region. A regular conference of the forest ministers and forest officials of the southern states is held once a year, in rotation in each State. The Forest Ministers of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, senior officials of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, Forest Secretaries of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Special Secretary for Forests, Andhra Pradesh, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, together with the senior forest officials of these states and the Union Territory of Pondicherry, met at Thiruvananthapuram on November 3 and 4, 2006 and resolved several mutual issues concerning conservation and protection of forests and wildlife of the region. This formalization of interstate cooperation on protected areas administration improves effectiveness in the areas of: daily staff communication including common wireless frequencies, joint enforcement action, boundary survey and demarcation, management of cross border resources like Biosphere Reserves, National Parks, Tiger reserves and Wildlife Sanctuaries, technology, staff and intelligence sharing and coordinated communication with the Government of India, especially allotting more funds for conservation and forestation activities of State Forest Departments by the Union Government.[11] The second meeting was held at Bangalore on September 21 and 22, 2007.[12] The third meeting was held at Hyderabad on October 25 and 26, 2008.[13]


  1. Tamil Nadu Forest Dept. Wild Biodiversity Archived 2012-02-06 at the Wayback Machine
  2. Tamil Nadu Forest Dept.Eco-Tourism Archived 2017-04-21 at the Wayback Machine
  3. "Bio-Diversity and Wild Life in Tamil Nadu". ENVIS Centre. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  4. "India tiger population declines". South Asia. BBC News. 2008-02-13. Retrieved 25 November 2009.
  5. Qamar Qureshi; K. Sankar; Rajesh Gopal; Y.V. Jhala (2008). "Western Ghats Landscape Complex/Tamil Nadu". Status of Tigers, Co-Predators and Prey in India (PDF). National Tiger Conservation Authority, Ministry of Environment & Forests, New Delhi and Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. pp. 72–94. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-06-02.
  6. Murari, S. (31 December 2008). "Thousands Protest Against Indian Tiger Reserve". Planet Ark. Reuters. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
  7. "Eight New Tiger Reserves". Press Release. Ministry of Environment and Forests, Press Information Bureau, Govt. of India. November 13, 2008. Retrieved 2009-10-31.
  8. Migratory birds flock to Vettangudi Sanctuary, The Hindu, 9/11/2005,, Vettangudi
  9. Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (PR.2) Department, G.O. (Ms) No.19, Dated: 23.1.2008, Declaring Viralimalai as a heritage place
  10. Tamil Nadu Forest Dept. Zoos Archived 2011-07-21 at the Wayback Machine
  11. Conference of the Forst Ministers of Southern States, Thiruvananthapuram, 3 – 4 November 2006 Resolution
  12. Two-day meet of Forest Ministers concludes
  13. "Southern Forest Ministers' meet for tax on forest produce". The Hindu. Chennai, India: Kasturi & Sons Ltd. 2008-10-27. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
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