SHENDURUNY WILDLIFE SANCTUARY

The etymological meaning of the name 'Shenduruny' has been derived from a tree species locally called 'Shenkuruny or Chenkuruny' (Gluta travancorica), an endemic tree mainly confined to this area. The Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary was formed in 1984. The construction of the Parappar dam across the confluence of the Shenduruny and Kulathupuzha rivers has resulted in the creation of an artificial lake of about 26 sq.kms. which spreads along the middle of the sanctuary. The construction of the dam has also caused to submerge about 23sq.kms. of rich forest cover.


Before the formation of Shenduruny as a wildlife sanctuary, the area was under the Thenmala Forest Division. Both clear felling and selection felling were once practised in this area to a large extent. Large tracts of forests were clearfelled and such areas were converted to plantations. Besides, the widening of the Thiruvananthapuram - Shencottah road (T.S.Road) during the 40's also enhanced the deterioration of the Shenduruny forests. Despite all these disturbances the fauna status of Shenduruny valley was found to be some what well, especially in the eastern mountainous zone. So, according to the recommendations by the Quilon Circle Committee report, the Government declared Shenduruny as wildlife sanctuary on August 25, 1984. Now the sanctuary comes under the Thiruvananthapuram Wildlife Division.

Location and Extent

          The Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the southern part of the Western Ghats (8°50' and 8°55'N; 77°5'and 77°15'E) in the Pathanapuram taluk of Kollam district. The sanctuary covers a total area of 100.32 sq.kms. However, the border with Tamil Nadu has not been fully surveyed.

Historical Importance

          Historically, Shenduruny has a rich heritage. A recent study conducted by Dr.P.Rajendran, archaeological research associate of the Poona Deccan College, has resulted in the excavation of the remains of Stone Age culture from a large cave situated at the north -western part of the Shenduruny river. It was proved that these remains belong to the Mesolithic period.
         
          This study brought out the fact that the Shenduruny River Valley Civilization was one among the oldest River Valley Civilizations in India. It dates back from 5210 to 4420 B.C. older than the Indus Valley Civilization which is believed to have flourished from 4400 to 3700 BC The cave paintings seen here are comparable to the Mesolithic paintings found in the caves of central India. The cave found here is large enough to hold at least twenty people at one time. According to Dr. Rajendran, the marshy place seen below just in front of the cave once must have been a lake. Now the Shenduruny river has the reputation that it had nourished a civilization in the prehistoric past.

Vegetation

          Four different types of vegetation have been found in Shenduruny.
They are-
     a) the west coast tropical evergreen forest,
     b) west coast tropical semi-evergreen forest,
     c) southern moist mixed deciduous forest and
     d) the southern hilltop tropical evergreen forest.
     Of these four, the tropical evergreen forest comprises one fourth of the total area.

Mammalian Fauna

 

          Macaca Radiata, the bonnet macaque, the lion-tailed macaque, the Nilgiri langur, squirrels, the Indian giant squirrel, three striped palm squirrel, the gaur or Indian bison, the sambar deer, the muntjack or barking deer, the Indian chevrotain or mouse deer, wild boar and the Indian elephant are found in this sanctuary.

Contact Address

1. The Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife)
    Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, 695 014,
    Phone : 322217.

2. The Wildlife Warden,
    Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary,
    Thenmala Dam P.O.,
    Thiruvananthapuram.
    Phone : 344600 - 0475.