Significance

The park holds the largest viable population of the endangered Nilgiri Tahr (Nilgiritragus hylocrius) and is a famous habitat of Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthianam), which blooms once in 12 years. Apart from Tahr, the park is an abode of other little known fauna such as Nilgiri Marten (endemic), Ruddy Mongoose, Small Clawed Otter, Dusky Striped Squirrel etc.

The Anamudi peak area is also habitat of an unique Frog Raorchestes resplendens. The park represents the largest and least disturbed stretch of unique Montane Shola-Grassland vegetation in the Western Ghats. Similar ecosystems like Nilgiris, Anamalais and Palanis were severely manipulated to raise plantations. Even in the High Ranges, the Tertian and Karimkulam plateau were planted up.

The National Park is regionally important as a catchment area for both east (tributaries of River Pambar) and west (tributaries of River Periyar and Chalakkudy) flowing Rivers. Locally, it is important for maintaining the climate and providing drinking water to the surrounding estates and for irrigation in parts of Aanjanad Valley.

The highest peak in peninsular India, Anamudi (2695 m), is situated in this park. The sharp escarpments and cliffs on all sides of the park make this area an isolated table land that is responsible for the unique microclimate. The unsuitability of soil for agriculture, inaccessibility and extreme climate has helped the land remain free from human developmental onslaught. Although the area of the park falls latitudinally in the tropics, it exhibit extra tropical climate due to the altitudinal influence.

This change in the bio-climate and geological stability enhances the endemic values of the area. High elevations of the Western Ghats are considered botanically rich areas in India. There are many temperate species like Mahonia leschnaultti, Rhododendron arboreum, Gaultheria fragrantissima, Berberis tinctoria etc., rare orchids like Brachycorythis wightii, Habenarea flabelliformis etc.

Presence of medicinal plants like Drosera peltata and wild varieties of cultivated plants like Piper schmidtti and Elateria cardamomum adds to the conservation significance.

The cultural values of the park are significant to the local and indigenous people, especially the Muthuvans. They inhabit the fringes of the park and have traditionally been associated with the high country. The park is an example of institutionalized joint management as the long established links with the High Range Wildlife and Environment Preservation Association (HRWEPA), who were earlier managing the park as a Game Reserve, is still vibrant.

Eravikulam National Park is the prime attraction in Munnar, which has become one of the most sought after tourist destinations in the whole of India. Its aesthetic grandeur and the possibility of seeing the endangered Nilgiri Tahr at close quarters at Rajamala and the waterfall at Lakkom attract more than 5,00,000 visitors annually.

The park in continuity with the neighboring Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Anamudi Shola National Park, Pampadum Shola National Park, Kurinjimala Sanctuary and Anamalai Tiger Reserve forms the largest conservation landscape in the Western Ghats (Map 1C). As the only remaining viable island of Shola–Grassland complex, this park provides ample academic opportunities for studying the biodiversity of montane vegetation and the ecological riddles associated with the ecosystem.

It can also serve as a field laboratory for activities like conservation education, research, monitoring and participatory management.