Flora and Fauna of Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is rich in flora and fauna. The sanctuary houses various species like Avicennia officinalis, Rhizophora mucronata, Acanthus ilicifolius and Acrostichum aureum. According to IUCN Acanthus ilicifolius, a species of mangrove is regarded as endangered and Rhizophora mucranata as vulnerable. There are six species of mammals, Indian flying fox, painted bat, three striped palm squirrel or dusky palm squirrel, house rat or black rat, bandicota, and Eurasian otter. Tourists can also see two species of amphibians like Limnonectes limnocharis and Duttaphrynus melanostictus, and seven species of fishes Anabas testudineus, Striped panchax, Orange chromide, Etroplus suratensis, Malabar swamp eel, Blackline rasbora and Sarotherodon mossambica. However, Mangalavanam is chiefly a haven for the birds. The total number of bird species that has been recorded so far from this area is 72. The best time to visit the sanctuary is during the months of mid January to early March.
The Assistant Conservator of Forest and Wildlife Warden Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary of Nature Study Centre Kalady manage the administration of the sanctuary. A timber yard earlier functioned in this area. From here a timber was exported to foreign countries. However, presently it has been stopped now. Tourists can stay in a guesthouse located in this region. It was repaired in the year 1986. They can also put up in forest guesthouse, the government guesthouse, the PWD rest houses and the numerous private lodges in Ernakulam.
Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary is well connected with various modes of transport. One can take taxi, auto rickshaw or bus to reach Eranakulam.