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Location India, Karnataka
Central coordinates 76o 37.00' East  12o 16.33' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 76 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description This small lake has a variety of habitats which sustain a vibrant birdlife - wetlands, including the lake and adjacent paddy fields, mudflats and drains, open dry land, scrub forest, Sesbania and Acacia plantations, grassland, bamboo groves, mango and coconut groves, and orchards. Lingambudhi Lake was established in 1828 AD by Krishnaraja Wodeyar, ruler of the erstwhile State of Mysore, in memory of his wife. A farm of medicinal plants has been set up in a portion of the 108 ha of Forest Department land surrounding the lake, which includes a part of the wetland.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Bird life has been studied for the past 18 years, and intensive daily bird watching for the past six years indicates the presence of 304 species in less than 250 ha. The lake is an important staging ground for migratory waders of nearly twenty species. It hosts over 5,000 waders during the spring migration and over 1,000 in the autumn migration. During spring migration, the largest components in the wader group are the Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola and the Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea (up to 400). In the autumn migration, up to 300 Curlew Sandpiper and 200 Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola have been seen. Thejaswi et al. (2000) have counted up to 25,000 ducks in January 1998, and 4,000 waders on a single day in March the same year. A large number of egrets Egretta spp. (up to 3,000), mynas Acridotheres spp. and the Rosy Starling Sturnus roseus (up to 10,000) regularly roost in the area (Thejaswi 2001). The lake hosts a large number of the globally threatened Spotbilled Pelican Pelecanus philippensis every summer, when other lakes dry up. In March-April 2002, nearly 600 birds of this species, whose world population is estimated by Wetlands International (2002) between 2,500 to 5,000 and the threshold for 1% of biogeographic population set at 40, making it an extremely important site for the species in southern India and qualifying it as an IBA under criterion A4i. The lake is the only known regular breeding site in southern India of the extremely rare Indian subspecies of the Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina hastata (Thejaswi and Shivaprakash, in press), the only other known breeding site being Bharatpur in north India. Recently, Rasmussen and Anderton (in press) have upgraded this subspecies to a full species, Aquila hastata. The lake, when full, also occasionally hosts a mixed nesting colony of Cormorants Phalacrocorax spp., Darter Anhinga melanogaster and Grey Herons Ardea cinerea. The Spot-billed Pelican has also attempted to breed here. Birds rare in India such as Rusty-rumped Grasshopper-Warbler Locustella certhiola (Thejaswi and Shivaprakash in press) and Black Tern Chlidonias niger (Thejasvi and Shivaprakash in press) have been recorded from the lake.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: This IBA, which is only partially protected, has around 110 species of butterflies. No large wild mammal of any conservation concern is found here.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis resident  2004  present  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
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

Not assessed  Unknown  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  negligible 


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture/grass cultivation/ medicinal plants farm
fisheries/aquaculture -
Notes: Fisheries /aquaculture
forestry -
Notes: Forestry / plantations
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism and recreation (Recreational Park)

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Thejaswi Shivanand and A. Shivaprakash.


Rasmussen, P. C. and Anderton, J. C. (in press) Birds of South Asia: the Ripley guide. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

Thejaswi, S. (2001). The Year of the Rosy Pastor. Newsletter for Birdwatchers 41(3): 34-34.

Thejaswi, S., A. Shivaprakash and T. Shivanandappa (2000) Migratory birds at the Lingambudhi lake in Mysore. Newsletter for Birdwatchers 40(1): 7-9.

Thejaswi, S. and Shivaprakash, A. (in press) Black Tern, Chlidonias niger (Linn.) in Mysore, Karnataka: first record from inland south India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc.

Thejaswi, S. and Shivaprakash, A. (in press) Observations of the Rustyrumped Grasshopper-Warbler, Locustella certhiola (Pallas) at Mysore. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc.

Thejaswi. S. and Shivaprakash, A. (in press) The Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca Savigny, near Mysore, south India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc.

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: Lingambudhi Lake and environs. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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