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Location India, Andhra Pradesh
Central coordinates 79o 24.80' East  13o 50.68' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 50,694 ha
Altitude 150 - 1,130m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society



Site description Sri Venkateswara National Park (35,362 ha) and Wildlife Sanctuary (15,332 ha), located in southern Eastern Ghats, are spread over the Seshachalam hills of Cuddapah district and Tirumala hills of Chittoor district. The elevation ranges from 150 to 1,130 m, the terrain is undulating, with deep forest-covered valleys. Most of the rainfall is received from the northeast monsoon and a little from the southwest monsoon. The area has about 1,500 vascular plant species belonging to 174 families, of which many are endemic (Anand Mohan 2000). In this IBA, the vegetation is a unique mix of the Dry Deciduous and Moist Deciduous types. The Park is home to six endemic plant species: Cycas beddomei, Pterocarpus santalinus, Terminalia pallida, Syzygium alternifolium, Shorea tambaggia and Boswellia ovalifoliolata.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Anand Mohan (2000) has identified 178 species of birds from this Sanctuary. The globally threatened Yellow-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus xantholaemus is seen here (BirdLife International 2001). During BNHS ringing camps in 1989 and 1998-99, two Yellow-throated Bulbuls were ringed each time (S. Balachandran pers. comm. 2002). Pompadour Green Pigeon Treron pompadora, a bird of the Himalayas and the Western Ghats (Grimmett et al. 1999) is quite common in these forests. Another interesting record from this site is the presence of Large Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioides (Pittie and Balachandran 2002), the first record from Andhra Pradesh state. This area is extremely important due to its location at the junction of Eastern and Western Ghats, therefore it has been selected as an IBA. The site lies in Biome-11 (Indo-Malayan Tropical Dry Zone) in which BirdLife International (undated) has listed 59 species which represent this biome bird assemblage. Till now 30 species have been identified here, further proving the importance of the site for conservation. Interestingly, four species that are listed under Biome-10 (Indian Peninsula Tropical Moist Forest) are also found here. They are Blue-faced Malkoha Phaenicophaeus viridirostris, Yellow-browed Bulbul Iole indica, Indian Scimitar-Babbler Pomatorhinus horsfieldii and Loten’s Sunbird Nectarinia lotenia.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: In 1984, the Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, not seen in Andhra Pradesh for nearly 300 years, re-appeared in the southern part of Chittoor district. In 1993, a breakaway herd of five individuals moved to the Chamala Valley of Tirumala forests in this IBA (Rao 1993).

Till now, Tiger Panthera tigris has not been reported from this site but Leopard Panthera pardus is quite common, along with the Wild Dog or Dhole Cuon alpinus. Other predators include Hyena Hyaena hyaena, Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Indian Fox Vulpes bengalensis, Small Indian Civet Viverricula indica and Jungle Cat Felis chaus.

Sloth Bear Melursus ursinus is frequently encountered. Sambar Cervus unicolor, Spotted Deer Axis axis, Mouse Deer Moschiola meminna, Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak, Four-horned Antelope Tetracerus quadricornis and Wild Boar Sus scrofa are the main ungulates. The nocturnal Slender Loris Loris tardigradus could be common but is seldom seen. Indian Giant Squirrel Ratufa indica and Tree Shrew Anathana ellioti are other interesting species.

Among reptiles, the most interesting species is the Draco or Gliding Lizard Draco dussumieri, found in some deep forested valleys (Balachandran and Pittie 2000). This species primarily inhabits evergreen biotopes in the Western Ghats (Daniel 2002), therefore, its presence in the southern Eastern Ghats is interesting from the biogeographical point of view. Draco is an example of the Malayan element in the fauna of southern India (Daniel 2002).

Another important reptile of this IBA is the Golden Gecko Calodactylodes aureus. Originally reported from rocky ravines in the Eastern Ghats, the Golden Gecko was rediscovered from the same area in 1985 (Daniel et al. 1986). It is now known to be widely distributed and recently recorded in the Western Ghats of Karnataka (Ashok Captain pers. comm. to J. C. Daniel).

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 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Sri Venkateswara National Park 35,362 protected area contained by site 35,362  
Sri Venkateswara Sanctuary 15,332 protected area contained by site 15,332  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture and the dam on the habitat and the wildlife in the Sanctuary (Protected Area Update: Issue No. 13 and 45)
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature Conservation
water management -
Notes: Agriculture and the dam on the habitat and the wildlife in the Sanctuary (Protected Area Update: Issue No. 13 and 45)

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Panchapakesan Jeganathan and S. Balachandran.

References 

Anand Mohan, B. (2000) Birds in and around Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh. Zoo’s Print Journal 15(10): 339-343.

Balachandran, S. and Pittie, A. (2000) Occurrence of draco or flying lizard Draco dussumieri in Chittor district, Andhra Pradesh. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 97(1): 147-148.

Bhushan, B. (1994) Ornithology of the Eastern Ghats. M. Sc. (Zoology) Thesis, University of Bombay, Mumbai.

BirdLife International (2001) Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. Cambridge, UK: BirdLife International.

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

Daniel, J. C. (2002) The Book of Indian Reptiles and Amphibians. Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai.

Daniel, J. C., Bhushan, B. and Sekar, A. G. (1986) Rediscovery of the golden gecko Calodactylodes aureus (Beddome) in the Eastern Ghats of Andhra Pradesh. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 83: 15-16.

Grimmett, R., Inskipp, C. and Inskipp, T. (1999) Pocket Guide to the Birds of the Indian Sub-continent. Oxford University Press, New Delhi.

Pittie, A. and Balachandran, S. (2002) Pompadour Green Pigeon Treron pompadora affinis and Large Hawk-Cuckoo Hierococcyx sparverioides on the Palkonda Hills, Peninsular India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 99(2):302-304 Rao, C. N. (1993) Status report of elephants in Andhra Pradesh. Pp. 94- 96. In: A week with Elephants. Proceedings of the international seminar on the Conservation of Asian Elephant. (Eds. Daniel, J. C. and Datye, H.) Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/12/2014

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