Aaralam Wildlife Sanctuary
Established in 1983, Aaralam Wildlife Sanctuary is a tranquil little sanctuary on the slopes of the Western Ghats. Aralam, the northern most wildlife sanctuary in Kerala is a treat for nature enthusiasts. The highest peak of Katti Betta, covered with tropical and semi- evergreen forests rises to a majestic height of 1145 m above sea level. The head quarters of the sanctuary is located at Iritty, a small town located about 55 kms from Kannur City.
The sanctuary adjoins the Central State Farm at Aralam. A variety of flora and fauna endemic to the Western Ghats is found here. Herds of deer, elephants, boar and bison are quite common. Leopards, Jungle Cats and various types of Squirrels have also been sighted.
It is also rich in avifauna and reptiles. Water duck, migratory siberian duck, jungle fowls, mynas, laughing thrushes, black bulbuls, peafowls, woodpeckers, kingfishers, the hornbill, stork, raptor, darter, cormorant, grackle, cluster, Indian rollers, common snipes, crow pheasants, jungle nightjars, kites, grey drongos, malabar trogons, large pied wagtails, baya sparrows, grey jungle fowls, indian hill mynas, robins, jungle babblers, sunbirds, pea*censored*s, crimson-throated barbets, bee-eaters, shrikes, fairy bluebirds, grey-headed fishing eagles, black winged kites, night herons, grey hornbills, Malabar hornbills and more than 253 additional species including migrant birds can be found in the sanctuary.
The normal range of temperature is between 21 degree centigrade and 40 degree centigrade in the foothills and between 8 degree centigrade and 5 degree centigrade at the higher reaches. The sanctuary receives and annual rainfall of 3000mm. The predominant forest type in this area is Tropical Ever-Green and the Tropical Semi Ever-Green.
This sanctuary is easily accessible from Kannur. One can reach the sanctuary by road from Thalassery (45 kms) and Kannur (45 kms). The nearest railway station is Thalassery and the nearest airport is Kozhikode, 113 kms from Iritty. The infrastructure for tourism development is limited at present but steps are being taken by the Forest department to improve the situation.