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Location India, Karnataka
Central coordinates 76o 38.18' East  12o 42.55' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 4,982 ha
Altitude 880 - 1,127m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Situated north of Mysore, this Sanctuary was declared to protect the Grey Wolf Canis lupus pallipes. It has been named after the Melkote Yoganarasimhaswami Temple, a famous pilgrimage centre nearby. The Sanctuary is located in Mandya district and can be approached by rail or road from Bangalore to Mandya (100 km), then by road to the Sanctuary (35 km). The Sanctuary is divided into two blocks, Mudibetta (448 ha) and Narayanadurga (4,534 ha). Between the two blocks, a number of villages and cultivated land are present. The landscape is rocky, with dry deciduous and scrub vegetation (Manjrekar 2000). Cycas circinalis, an endangered gymnosperm, is characteristic of this area (Manjrekar 2000). A few patches of Shorea talura exist. Other species include Acacia leucophloea, Anogeissus latifolia, Ailanthus triphysa, Albizzia sp., Azadirachta indica, Dalbergia sp., Santalum album and Zizyphus sp. (Manjrekar 2000). The forest is the catchment area of the Thonnur lake, one of the largest and deepest perennial irrigation tanks in the area (T. Shivanand in litt. 2003).

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Thejaswi Shivanand (in litt. 2003) who visited Narayanadurga Hill which forms the northern boundary of the Melkote Temple WLS, many times for birdwarching, noted 173 species till September 2002. The bird life of Narayanadurga is generally characteristic of a dry scrub forest, with the main attraction being the Yellowthroated Bulbul Pycnonotus xantholaemus. Shivanand counted between 28 to 35 individuals in this IBA. They are generally seen in threes or fours, but flocks up to 30 are also seen in this IBA (T. Shivanand in litt. 2003). This site is mainly selected on the basis of presence of a good population of Vulnerable Yellow-throated Bulbul.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Besides the Grey Wolf, carnivores include of Leopard Panthera pardus, Jungle Cat Felis chaus and Red Fox Vulpes vulpes.

Chital Axis axis and Wild Boar Sus scrofa are their main natural prey.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Indian Vulture Gyps indicus non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Yellow-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus xantholaemus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Melkote Temple Sanctuary 4,982 is identical to site 4,982  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Cultivation
urban/industrial/transport -
Notes: Settlements; Transportation

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Thejaswi Shivanand.


Manjrekar, N. (ed.) (2000): A Walk on the Wild Side. Karnataka Forest Department, Wildlife Wing, Bangalore.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Melkote Temple Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 18/04/2015

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