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Location India, Andhra Pradesh
Central coordinates 78o 28.00' East  13o 41.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 940 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Horsley Hills in Chittoor district are a part of the Eastern Ghats. The hills were named after M. W. H. Horsley, a member of the British Indian Civil Service (Subramanya and Prasad 1996). The Hills lie within the Horsley Konda Reserve Forest and comprise an area of 4,700 ha, with a total of 13 peaks, of which seven are above 1,000 m, the highest being 1,347 m (Subramanya and Prasad 1992). Prior to 1850, when Horsley took a fancy to this place, the hills were known as Enugu Mallamma Konda. The ruins of an old fort indicate that the hills had great local importance. Recently, stone age tools were unearthed, giving these hills archaeological importance as well. The Chenchu tribe who inhabit the Horsley Hills keep Pungannur cows, known for their milk yielding capacity and low fodder requirement. The Horsley Hills are popular among local tourists who go to see their natural beauty and to escape from the heat of the plains. The Mallamma temple is another major tourist and pilgrim centre. The habitat is predominantly Dry Deciduous, with a small patch of Moist Deciduous forest. The habitat structure has changed completely due to extensive plantations of Eucalyptus. The wild vegetation, wherever present, is highly disturbed. This site is well known to Indian ornithology as Jerdon (1863) possibly obtained type specimens of the globally threatened Yellow-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus xantholaemus (Whistler and Kinnear 1932). The natural vegetation of the hills is represented by trees such as Diospyros melanoxylon, Emblica officinalis, Albizzia amara, Ficus religiosa, Ficus tomentosa, Ficus bengalensis and Santalum album. Unfortunately, the natural vegetation has been replaced by plantations of Eucalyptus, Jacaranda, Allamanda and Delonix, especially at lower elevations.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Yellow-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus xantholaemus resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   -
Rocky areas   -
Artificial - terrestrial   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry -
Notes: Plantations
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism and recreation

Acknowledgements Key contributor: S. Subramanya.


Ali, S. and Ripley, S. D. (1987) Compact Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan (Second Edition). Oxford University Press, Delhi.

Anonymous (2001) Reptile CAMP Handbook. Vol. I, Reptiles Endemic to India. South Asian Reptile Network. Zoo Outreach Organization, Coimbatore.

BirdLife International (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia. The BirdLife International Red Data Book. 2 vol. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

BirdLife International (undated) Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Asia: Project briefing book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K., unpublished.

Grimmett, R., Inskipp, C. and Inskipp, T. (1998) Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Christopher Helm (Publishers) Ltd., London, U.K.

Jerdon, T. C. (1863) The Birds of India. Vol. 2, part 1. Published by the author, Calcuatta, pp. 84-86.

Prasanna, M. Belliappa, K. M. and Vittal, B. S. (1997) Birds of Horsley Hills. Newsletter for Birdwatchers 37(5): 76.

Subramanya, S. and Prasad, J. N. (1992) Birds of Horsley Hills. Newsletter for Birdwatchers 32 (9&10): 8-10.

Subramanya, S. and Prasad, J. N. (1996) Yellow-throated Bulbuls at Horsley Hills. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 93(1): 55-58.

Whistler, H. and Kinnear, N. B. (1932) Vernay Scientific survey of Eastern Ghats. Ornithology- Part 2. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 35: 737-760.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Horsley Hills. Downloaded from on 23/10/2014

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