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Location India, Karnataka
Central coordinates 76o 36.00' East  12o 18.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 65 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description This tranquil lake is located within Mysore city and is home to a bustling colony of cormorants, storks, pelicans and ibises. The lake is under the jurisdiction of the Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens of Mysore. It has many islands, which are covered by Barringtonia acutangula, Acacia nilotica and Acacia auriculiformis, which provide excellent tree cover and nesting sites for birds. A butterfly park is also planned in the premises. The important marsh flora includes Nymphaea stellata, Rotala leptopetala, Lindernia parviflora, Bergia ammanioides, Ludwigia perennis, Typha angustata and Najas graminea. The tree species of the surrounding environs include Acacia sp., Cassia spp., Albizzia lebbeck, Bauhinia sp. and Wrightia tinctoria.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: The Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis is regularly seen here, with a maximum number of 230 birds observed. BirdLife International (2001) has listed it as Vulnerable mainly because its small population continues to decline, although at a reduced rate, as a result of widespread degradation and exploitation of wetlands. The Spot-billed Pelican used to breed in these islands until 1996 when floodwaters breached the bund and left the lake dry. The pelicans resumed breeding in November 2002, with 33 nests recorded. It has also been recorded nesting at this site again in 2003-04. Three species of cormorants (Little Phalacrocorax niger, Median P. fuscicollis and Great P. carbo) and Darter Anhinga melanogaster breed here along with the nesting pelicans. Painted Storks also form a significant section (30%) of the colony. Over 700 Oriental White or Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus breed here in the monsoon. According to Wetlands International (2002), the 1% population of this species in South Asia is only 100, so this site holds a significant number of this Near Threatened species. Once the lake is restored, it is likely that the birds will be seen in their former numbers and variety. At present, entry to the general public is barred. There are many Biome-11 species, but none of them are presently of much conservation concern. This site has been selected as an IBA because significant numbers of Vulnerable Spot-billed Pelican, and Near Threatened Blackheaded Ibis breed here. It also has potential to attract many more species in larger numbers in the future.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: As the tank is inside Mysore town, no large mammal is found here. Commercial fish, including the introduced Tilapia, are farmed here.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus resident  2004  present  A4i  Near Threatened 
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis resident  2004  present  A1  Near Threatened 

IBA Monitoring

2013 very high near favourable low
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Pollution domestic & urban waste water - type unknown/unrecorded happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

Shrubland   0 0 good (> 90%) moderate (70-90%) near favourable

Unknown  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  Unknown  low 


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Conservation
water management -
Notes: Water management

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Thejaswi Shivanand and A. Shivaprakash.


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

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Karanji Tank. Downloaded from on 09/10/2015

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