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Location India, Karnataka
Central coordinates 77o 40.50' East  13o 21.75' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 890 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description The Nandi Hills also referred to as Nandi Durg, about 60 km north of Bangalore, is a popular tourist spot. The site lies within the 2,837 ha Nandi State Forest, comprising three main hillocks (over 1,400 m) with seven peaks in all. Of these, Nandi Hills is the tallest (1,435 m). Though Nandi Hills has a general pattern of scrub and deciduous type of vegetation, altitudinal variations in the floristic composition can be seen owing to the influence of several ecological factors (Boraiah and Fathima 1970). There is an extensive plateau on the top, sloping to the west, that harbours a crater-like depression in the northwest. Part of this depression supports evergreen vegetation with a dense shrub layer dominated by Coffea sp. In addition to a few lianas, the trunks and branches of the vegetation within this evergreen patch are draped with Spagnaum moss (Subramanya et al. 1994). The hill slopes and valleys are covered with open scrub, and at places there are introduced Eucalyptus and Shorea talura. Most of the original forest cover has disappeared, replaced by secondary growth, primarily thorny scrub. However, some natural forest is still surviving, especially near the summit (Ghorpade et al. 1974). Lantana grows like a weed and has invaded the undergrowth, replacing native flora. Hillsides are clothed with scrub forest, mixed with Eucalyptus.

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, A3  Critically Endangered 
Indian Vulture Gyps indicus non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Nilgiri Woodpigeon Columba elphinstonii resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Yellow-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus xantholaemus resident  2004  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism

Acknowledgements Key contributors: S. Subramanya and the IBA team.


Ali, S. (1939) The Birds of Mysore: Part II. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 43: 318-341.

Ali, S. and Ripley, S. D. (1987) Compact Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan (Second Edition). Oxford University Press, Delhi.

BirdLife International (undated) Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Asia: Project briefing book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K., unpublished.

BirdLife International (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: The BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Boraiah, G. and Fathima T. (1970) Some aspects of vegetation at Nandi Hills. Univ. Agricultural Sciences Publication, Bangalore, pp.22.

Grimmett, R., Inskipp, C. and Inskipp, T. (1998) Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Christopher Helm, London.

Ghorpade, K. D., Verghese, A. and Mallik, A. (1974) Birds of the Nandi Hills: A Preliminary Survey. Newsletter for Birdwatchers 14(5): 1-5.

Karthikeyan S. (2000) Circumstantial evidence of breeding of the Nilgiri Wood Pigon Columba elphinstonii (Sykes) at Nandi Hills, near Bangalore. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 97: 429-430.

Prasad, J. N., Karthikeyan, S. and Subramanaya, S. (1995) The wintering of the Indian Blue Chat and Pied Ground Thrush at Nandi Hills, Karnataka. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 92(2): 267-269.

Subramanya, S., Karthikeyan, S. and Prasad, J. N. (1991) Yellow-throated Bulbul at Nandi Hills. Newsletter for Birdwatchers 31(3&4): 7-8.

Subramanya, S., Prasad, J. N. and Karthikeyan, S. (1994) Nilgiri Wood- Pigeon Columba elphinstonii (Sykes) at Nandi Hill near Bangalore. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 91: 319-320.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Nandi Hills. Downloaded from on 02/09/2014

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