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Location India, Karnataka
Central coordinates 76o 37.81' East  12o 18.59' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 58 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description A picturesque lake located within Mysore city, it is bordered on two sides by the University of Mysore, on the north by a state highway and to the south by a residential area. It was built by the Maharaja of Mysore in 1864 AD. The Lake is presently under the control of Mysore University. Over the years, the vegetation has undergone a significant change, and plantation and woodland have succeeded grassland in the northwestern parts of the land around the lake. A corresponding change in bird life has been seen, with the disappearance of grassland species. The water ferns, namely Azolla pinnata, A. microphylla and A. filiculoides are the common pteridophyte species found in this IBA, of which the latter two are common in the lake, while A. pinnata is the most dominant ubiquitous species occuring in roadside ponds, pools, lakes and other standing waters. The tree species in the lake environs are Acacia, Cassia, Albizzia lebbeck, Bauhinia and Wrightia tinctora.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: More than 207 species of birds have been recorded from this small lake and the surrounding areas including two globally threatened species, the Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis and the Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus. (MAN 1997; T. Shivanand pers. comm. 2003). This site has been selected as an IBA because the Spot-billed Pelican is regularly seen here, sometimes in hundreds. It used to breed here, but breeding was not observed in 2000-2001 (A. Shivaprakash pers. comm. 2002). However, breeding of Spot-billed Pelican was resumed in 2002-2003 (T. Shivanand pers. comm. 2003). Three species of cormorants (Little Phalacrocorax niger, Median P. fuscicollis and Great Cormorants P. carbo) and Darter Anhinga melanogaster breed in the same areas as the pelicans. About 50 species of birds breed in and around this lake (MAN 1997). According to some reports, more than 10,000 birds come to this lake (one newspaper even reported 30,000 birds), but others doubt this estimate. Once the lake is restored, it is likely to attract more than 20,000 birds. There are many Biome-11 species but none of them are presently of much conservation concern. This site is selected as an IBA chiefly due to the breeding of Spotbilled Pelican, and the great potential to develop this as a bird refuge.

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

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis resident  2004  present  A1  Near Threatened 

IBA Monitoring

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

Pollution domestic & urban waste water - type unknown/unrecorded happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

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

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Very little or no conservation action taking place  negligible 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   -
Shrubland   -
Grassland   -
Artificial - terrestrial   -
Artificial - aquatic   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture -
Notes: Fisheries / aquaculture
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism and recreation

Acknowledgements Key contributors: A. Shivaprakash and Thejaswi Shivanand.


Mysore Amateur Naturalists (MAN) (1997) Checklist of the Birds of Kukkarahalli Lake. Mysore Amateur Naturalists, Mysore. Pp. 36.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Kukkarahalli Tank. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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