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Tamil Nadu Wetlands Mission

Longwood Shola Reserve Forest

Longwood Shola Reserve Forest is located in the Nilgiris District (11° 25' 54.0984'' N 76° 52' 26.9544'' E ) and covers an area of 116.007 ha. The Shola forests of South India derive their name from the Tamil word, "Solai", which means a ‘tropical rain forest’. The wetland has been declared as Ramsar site with site number 2538. Longwood Shola Reserve Forest is one of the Important Bird Areas (IBA's) of Tamil Nadu with site code TN – IN – 15 and qualifies for two criteria of the IBA selection process – A1 (Threatened species) and A2 (Endemic Bird Area 123: Western Ghats) (Code No. IN270, Criteria: A1, A2 (2004).

Longwood Shola Reserve Forest

Longwood Shola is home to 177 bird species and of the 26 Western Ghats endemics, 14species of birds have been recorded in this area. Several species listed under the IUCN red list such as Nilgiri Laughingthrush, Nilgiri Blue Robin, Malabar Grey Hornbill, Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon, Kashmir Flycatcher, Nilgiri Pipit and Rufous-bellied Eagle are seen in the shola forest. The area is rich in herpetofauna diversity of which several species are endemic to the Western Ghats and are also considered as threatened species by IUCN. Endangered species such as Rhacophorus lateralis, Ghatixalus variabilis, Raorchestes charius, Raorchestes signatus and Raorchestes tinniens along with Vulnerable species like Uperodon triangularis and Micrixalus phyllophilus are found in and around the Shola Forest found. A frog species called Nyctibatrachus indraneili has been discovered from the Longwood Shola Reserve Forest which shows the importance of the site in providing unique habitat for various life forms.

Longwood Shola Reserve Forest

The area is said to support 44 species of trees, 32 species of shrubs, 5 species of epiphytes, 12 species of ferns and 25 species of lianas and other climbers out of which most plant species are endemic to the Wester Ghats. The site also supports endangered species of trees such as Psychotria nilgiriensis, Actinodaphnae bourneae and Cinnamonum wightii. The Longwood shola is an integral part of the very fragile Nilgiri eco-system. This sylvan retreat is a major water source for villages in the downstream, notably, Kairbetta, Hosahatti, Aravenu and Jakkanarai. It provides drinking water for humans and Water for irrigated agriculture and helps to regulate local climate, greenhouse gases, temperature, precipitation flood and other climactic processes


Salient Features

Longwood Shola Reserve Forest

CRITERIA

Criteria 1 : The high elevation swamps and streams found in the Western Ghats are representative natural wetland types
Criteria 2 : Supports threatened species of endemic trees, mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.
Criteria 3 : Helps in maintaining the biological diversity of the biogeographic region.
Criteria 4 : Supports endemic frog species at critical stage in their life cycles.

Longwood Shola Reserve Forest

Biodiversity

Factsheet

Site NameLongwood Shola Reserve Forest
Site No 2538
Declaration Date 02.02.2024
Designated Date 24.05.2023
Co-Ordinates 11°25’54.0984’’N - 76°52’26.9544’’E
Area Extent ( Hectare) 116.007
District The Nilgiris
Elevation ( meters)2250
Depth (m) 1.5
Rainfall (mm)1556
Salinity (ppt) fresh ( <0.5 g/l)
Wetland Type Marshes and Streams
Soil Organic
Water pH >5.5-7.4
Water TDS ppm 165
Water Conductivity μS/cm 258