Thattekad Bird Sanctuary falls in the Ernakulam district of Kerala, and boasts of a rich variety of birds. Dr.Salim Ali, one of the best known ornithologist in India described Thattekad Bird Sanctuary as the richest bird habitat on peninsular India, comparable only to eastern Himalaya. Named after him as Dr.Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, this bird sanctuary located 8 km from Tapovan, was the first one in Kerala. Thattekkad literally means flat forest, and the region is an evergreen low-land forest located between the branches of Periyar River, the longest river in Kerala.
Thattekad Bird Sanctuary is home to almost 320 species of exotic birds, some of the most notable ones include Bee Eaters, Falcon Grey, Jungle Fowl, Black Winged Parakeet, White-breasted Hen, Rose-billed Roller, Great Hornbill etc. For this great collection, the sanctuary has earned reputation as paradise for bird watchers and nature lovers. There are 34 species of mammals, 30 species of reptiles and 12 species of amphibians found in this area. The most commonly found animals include Elephants, Leopard, Sloth-Bear and Porcupine. The Indian Cobra and Pythons are most common reptiles found here.
As is common in the Western Ghats, the terrain is undulating, the elevation ranges between 35 meters and 523 meters. The tallest point is the Njayapilli peak (523 metres high). It has an annual rainfall of about 2500mm. The flora of the Sanctuary includes tropical evergreen forest, tropical semi-evergreen and tropical deciduous forest. Further, patches of grasslands can be found. Tropical evergreen forests harbour Vellapine, Karanjili, Palley, Kunthirikkam, Bhadraksham, Kanala, Kurangatti, etc. Tropical semi evergreen forest harbour Angili, Kambacom etc. Trees of commercial value like Teak, Rosewood, Venteak, Venga, Maruthi are also found here. The gradient of vegetation and elevation over a small area of land makes Thattekad most suitable for rich bio-diversity.