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On any day late in the evening if I come out of my home and look into the western sky I can see hundreds of large bats flying from their roost towards their favorite feeding grounds. My neighbors too sometimes take notice of this but when I tell them that they are witnessing the flight of the largest bat in the world they react with a look of puzzlement, “Largest bat in the world!?” “Yes” I tell them, “They are the Indian Flying Fox, the largest fruit bat in the world”. I also tell them that Kerala is home to the largest land mammal - the Asiatic Elephant, the largest bovine – the Indian Gaur, the smallest cat - the Rusty Spotted Cat, the largest moth – the Atlas Moth, the longest venomous snake- King Cobra!

4629 mammal species have so far been described worldwide; of this 408 occur in India. The list for Western Ghats is 137 (with 14 endemics) of which 106 occur in Kerala. There is one mammal so far found only in Kerala – Renjini’s Field Rat ( Rattus ranjiniae ).

Some of the best places for watching mammals of Kerala are sanctuaries like Periyar Tiger Reserve, Chinnar, Parambikulam, Silent Valley National Park, Eravikulam National Park, etc.

Click here for mammals album
Click here for complete checklist of
mammals of Kerala
 (ADOBE PDF Document)

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