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Location India, Andhra Pradesh
Central coordinates 81o 23.42' East  16o 47.53' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 67,300 ha
Altitude 0 - 5m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Kolleru is a large, natural, shallow, freshwater lake with associated marshes, situated between the Krishna and Godavari Rivers, c. 55 km east of Vijayawada and c. 25 km northwest of the coastline. The surface area of the lake is determined by the volume of monsoon run-off and is subject to wide fluctuation as water levels rise and fall. At maximum flooding of 3 m, the area of the lake is over 90,000 ha. At 1 m, it may fall to 13,000 ha. The lake drains into the Bay of Bengal through the Upputeru river. Occasionally, small amounts of salt water enter the otherwise freshwater lake through this river. The surrounding areas are mostly under agriculture. Kolleru was declared a Ramsar Site in November 2002. It regularly supports more than 50,000 waterfowl, due to which it was selected as an IBA. The vegetation is luxuriant and about 19 species of hydrophytes belonging to 13 angiosperm families are recorded (Seshavataram et al. 1982 quoted in Rao and Rao 1987). Almost the entire surface is covered with emergents and floating aquatics such as Ipomoea aquatica, Ottelia alismoides, Nymphoides indicum, Limnophila indica, Utricularia sp., Potamageton crispus, Nechamandara alternifolia, Chara sp. and Nitella sp. The surrounding areas are under intensive cultivation. Cultivated Coconut trees are abundant in this area.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Garganey Spatula querquedula 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis resident  2004  present  A1  Near Threatened 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kolleru Sanctuary 67,300 is identical to site 67,300  
Kolleru Lake Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 90,100 unknown 0  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   -
Shrubland   -
Wetlands (inland)   -
Artificial - terrestrial   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture -
Notes: Agriculture - aquaculture ponds; Fishing

Acknowledgements Key contributor: IBA team.


Anonymous (1991) India’s Waterlogged Wealth. Sanctuary Asia 11(2): 84-92.

Dutt, S. (1983) Fishes of Lake Kolleru. In: Ecodevelopment of Kolleru lake. Status and approach document of INCOR, Visakhapatnam.

Gee, E. P. (1960) The breeding of the grey or spotted billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis philippensis Gmelin. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 57(2): 245-251.

Krishnan, M. (1981) Birds of Southern India. Illustrated Weekly of India. Vol. C II 23: 26-31.

Neelakantan, K. K. (1949) A South Indian Pelicanry. J. Bombay. Nat. Hist. Soc. 48 (4): 656-666.

Rao, G. R. and Rao, J. V. R. (1987) Kolleru Lake - Its Diversity and Avifauna. Cheetal 27(1&2): 47 - 48 Scott, D. (ed.) (1989) A Directory of Asian Wetlands. IUCN. Gland, Switzerland, and Cambridge, U.K., Seshavataram,V., Dutt, B. S. M. and Vanu, P. (1982) An ecological study of the vegetation of the Kolleru. Bul. Bot. Surv. Ind. 24(1-4): 70-75.

Wetland International (2002) Waterbird Population Estimates: Third Edition. Wetlands International Global Series No. 12. Wageningen, The Netherlands.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kolleru Lake Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 16/09/2014

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