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Location India, Karnataka
Central coordinates 75o 18.45' East  13o 21.03' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 56,328 ha
Altitude 134 - 1,892m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society



Site description Kudremukh National Park is located in the central Western Ghats and comprises highly complex vegetation mosaic of Tropical Wet Evergreen, Tropical Semi-Evergreen forest, Montane Wet Temperate Forest (Shola) and Montane Grassy Slopes richly nourished by several hill streams and torrents (Krishnamurthy et al. 2000). This Park is the largest protected area in the central part of the long chain of the Western Ghats. There are coffee and tea estates on the north and east, while the Ghats descend from an average of 1,500 m above msl to sea level on the west. To the northwest, an evergreen forest corridor connects the Park to the Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary. A central ridge runs through the Park from north to south, with the highest point at Kudremukh Peak (1,892 m). Shola forest and grasslands dominate the Park above 1,400 m; lowland evergreen forest is present at lower elevations on both slopes of the hills. The Netravati, Tunga and Bhadra rivers originate in the Park.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Over 170 bird species have been recorded by an environment impact assessment report of the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (Anon. 2001). Hussain et al. (1999) also gave a checklist of the birds of Kudremukh. However, the area has not been intensively studied for avifauna. Even then, of the 16 species listed in the Western Ghats Endemic Bird Area, 14 are present in Kudremukh National Park. Only two species are not found in Kudremukh, the Nilgiri Pipit Anthus nilghiriensis and Nilgiri Laughingthrush Garrulax cachinnans. The former species is generally not found so for north in the Western Ghats, while the later species is confined to the Nilgiries. Similarly, this IBA is crucial to the conservation of biome species. Fifteen species have been identified by BirdLife International (undated) to occur in Biome-10 (Indian Peninsula Tropical Moist Forest). Except for two species (House Swallow Hirundo tahitica and Loten’s Sunbird Nectarinia lotenia) all the rest are found in this IBA, again confirming the high value of this site for bird conservation. Probably, these two species would also be found at this site if detailed studies are conducted.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: The Park is very rich in wildlife, 42 species of mammals, 52 species of reptiles, 35 species of amphibians and 149 species of butterflies have been reported from here till now (Anon. 2001).

Three species of primate recorded are Common Langur Semnopithecus entellus, the endemic and highly endangered Lion-tailed Macaque, Macaca silenus and the more common Bonnet Macaque Macaca radiata. Recently, Groves (2001) has upgraded different subspecies of Semnopithecus to full species status. According to this classification, possibly Blackfooted Gray Langur S. hypoleucos occurs here. This species is perhaps the most endangered primate in India.

Among the larger carnivores are the Tiger Panthera tigris, Leopard P.pardus, Wild dog Cuon alpinus, and Sloth Bear Melursus ursinus. Large herbivores include Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak, Chital Axis axis, Sambar Cervus unicolor, Gaur Bos frontalis and Wild Boar Sus scrofa. Mouse deer Moschiola meminna is also present, but difficult to see due to its secretive nature. Porcupine Hystrix indica and Indian hare Lepus nigricollis are present. Reptiles include the Western Ghats Gliding Lizard Draco dussumieri, King Cobra Ophiophagus hannah and Bamboo Pit Viper Trimeresurus gramineus.

Scientists in the Department of Post-graduate Studies and Research in Environmental Science, Kuvempu University, Karnataka have discovered a new species of frog, endemic to the Western Ghats, in the forests of the Kudremukh National Park. This species of Nyctibatrachus (night frog) has been named N. hussaini after the well known Indian naturalist, S. A. Hussain (Krishnamurthy et al. 2000).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Wood Snipe Gallinago nemoricola winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Nilgiri Woodpigeon Columba elphinstonii resident  2004  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Malabar Parakeet Psittacula columboides 2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Malabar Grey Hornbill Ocyceros griseus 2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
White-bellied Treepie Dendrocitta leucogastra 2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Grey-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus priocephalus 2004  present  A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Broad-tailed Grassbird Schoenicola platyurus resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Rufous Babbler Turdoides subrufa 2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Wynaad Laughingthrush Garrulax delesserti 2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Kerala Laughingthrush Strophocincla fairbanki resident  2004  present  A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Nilgiri Blue Robin Myiomela major resident  2004  present  A1, A2, A3  Endangered 
Nilgiri Flycatcher Eumyias albicaudatus resident  2004  present  A2, A3  Near Threatened 
White-bellied Blue-flycatcher Cyornis pallipes 2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Crimson-backed Sunbird Nectarinia minima 2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kudremukh National Park 56,328 is identical to site 56,328  
Western Ghats World Heritage Site 795,315 protected area contains site 56,328  

Habitats

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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry -
Notes: Forestry
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism and recreation

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Thejaswi Shivanand.

Further web sources of information 

Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This site has been identified as an AZE due to it containing a Critically Endangered or Endangered species with a limited range.

References 

Anonymous (2001) Report on the impact of Iron Ore mining on the Flora And Fauna of Kudremukh National Park. Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. Unpublished Report to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India.

Groves, C. (2001) Primate Taxonomy. Smithsonian Institute Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Hussain, S. A., Krishnamurthy, S. V., Rao, N. R., and Nagraj, S. (1999) An overview of some aspects of the biodiversity of the Kudremukh National Park, Karnataka. Chap.16. In: Biodiversity of the Western Ghats Complex of Karnataka. Resource Utilization and Sustainable Development. (Eds.S. A. Hussain & K. P. Achar). Biodiversity Initiative Trust, Mangalore. Pp. 181-225.

Krishamurthy, S. V., Manjunatha Reddy, A. H. and Gururaja, K. V. (2000) A new species of frog in the genus Nyctibatrachus (Anura: Ranidae) from Western Ghats, India. Current Science, 80 (7): 887-891.

Stattersfield, A. J., Crosby, M. J., Long, A. J. and Wedge, D. C. (1998) Endemic bird areas of the world- Priorities for biodiversity conservation. Birdlife Conservation series, No.7, Birdlife International.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kudremukh National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/11/2014

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