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Location India, Karnataka
Central coordinates 77o 1.92' East  12o 8.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 460 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description These two lakes are situated about half a kilometre apart on the newly formed National Highway 209, 20 km from Kollegal town in Chamarajanagar district of southern Karnataka. The Kunthur Lake is overgrown with water lily, Typha and Ipomea carnea while Kallur Lake is relatively free of emergent vegetation, but has good underwater vegetation. The Typha reedbeds in Kunthur attract bitterns and crakes, while the waters of Kallur regularly support the Near Threatened Blackbellied Tern Sterna acuticauda. Kunthur also attracts huge flocks of the Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus, up to 2,500 on one occasion, and rare visitors like the Caspian Tern Sterna caspia and White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus have been seen (T. Shivanand, unpublished). The importance of the lakes as a wintering ground to the Near Threatened Black-bellied Tern cannot be stressed enough, as they are very close to a substantial breeding colony of the species at Talakad on the banks of the Kaveri river, a few kilometres north of the lakes (T. Shivanand in litt. 2003).

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: The site is important for congregations of winter migrants, especially ducks and waders. Over the past twelve years, the lakes have recorded very large congregations of migratory ducks and waders, often crossing the 20,000 mark. In the past three years, the number of birds recorded crossed 35,000 and touched 55,000 in the year 2000. Thresholds for 1% biogeographic population of species were crossed by Garganey (total 16,900, threshold 2,500), Comb Duck (total 65, threshold 60), and Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa (total 6200, threshold 1,000). The 1% biogeographic population threshold information is taken from Wetlands International (2002). Ducks such as the Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea and Comb Duck Sarkidiornis melanotos prefer the Kunthur, while others such as Garganey Anas querquedula, Northern Pintail A. acuta and Wigeon A. penelope favour Kallur Lake. These waterbodies are also the winter home of 2 to 3 individuals of the globally threatened Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: No information.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Sarkidiornis melanotos 2004  present  A4i  Not Recognised 
Garganey Spatula querquedula 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis resident  2004  present  A1  Near Threatened 
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa winter  2004  present  A4i  Near Threatened 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

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

No known threats no known threats past (and unlikely to return) and no longer limiting small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low

Wetlands (inland)   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Unknown  negligible 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - aquatic   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Cultivation
water management -
Notes: Irrigation

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Thejaswi Shivanand and A. Shivaprakash.


Thejaswi, S. (ed.) (undated) The Birds of Mysore: An Annotated Checklist of the birds of Mysore, Mandya and Chamarajanagar districts. Unpublished.

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Kunthur - Kallur Lakes. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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