The area is described as the richest bird habitat on Peninsular India by Dr Salim Ali. Several species of birds both forest and water birds visit the sanctuary every year.
Various Species of birds have been reported being sighted at THATTEKKAD bird sanctuary including the Peninsular Bay Owl, Malabar Trogon, Crimson- Throated Barbet, Ceylon Frogmouth, Malabar Grey Hornbill among others.
Mammals like Elephant, Barking Deer, Sambar, Bonnet Macaques, Giant squirrels and snakes like King Cobra, Indian Rocky Python, and Russell’s viper are also present in the zoo attached to the Bird sanctuary.
The museum attached to the sanctuary contains information regarding habitat and species of various birds. THATTEKKAD can be visited throughout the year, but the optimal months are between October to March.
The best months are between November and January with the arrival of winter migratory birds from the North.
Features of Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary at THATTEKKAD
- Forest type-tropical wet evergreen – 2.5 sq km
- Tropical semi evergreen – 2.5 sq km
- Moist deciduous – 15.0 sq km
- Riparian forest – 2.5 sq km
- Plantations – 2.5 sq km
- Over 870 species of plants are identified from tbs
- Fauna – 320 species of birds has been identified and among that 40% are migratory and 19% are international migratory.
- Mammals – 34 sp identified including rare species like Travancore flying squirrels, painted bats, Loris etc
- Reptiles – 30 species like snakes, lizards, geckos, turtles, tortoises etc
- Amphibians – 12 species are recorded
- Fishes – 57 species are identified
- Invertebrates – 17 different orders of insects among them Butterflies alone is around 222 species including southern bird wing.