Wild monkeys are friendly hosts at Munnar hill station that falls in the famous Nilgiri Biosphere of south India. Munnar is known as a tea town, for the large-scale tea plantation here. But still Munnar and its surroundings have large dense forest tracts providing habitat to several species of flora and fauna. Macaques are among the common mammals found in the forests.
The forests of Munnar fall in the Shola (grassland) category. Shola is referred to the forests in the lofty plateaus of the south Western Ghats. The word Shola is derived from ‘solai’, a Tamil word meaning evergreen forest. These forests receive huge rainfalls during the monsoons and hence they are home to a surprising diversity of flora and fauna. The Nilgiri Tahr, an endangered mountain goat species is perhaps the most popular among them. The Eravikulam National Park in Munnar is dedicated to the preservation of this species.
There is also a thriving birdlife in the Sholas. Some of them are the endemic Nilgiri pipit (Anthus cervinus), the white-bellied shortwing (Brachypteryx major), the Nilgiri flycatcher (Eumyias albicaudata) and the Nilgiri wood pigeon (Columba elphinstonii).