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Location India, Karnataka
Central coordinates 76o 39.08' East  12o 22.83' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 68 ha
Altitude 690 - 715m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society



Site description Rangananthittu is one of the oldest bird sanctuaries of India, having been established in 1940 by the Maharaja of Mysore on the suggestion of Dr. Salim Ali. In independent India, it was officially declared only in 1980. It is situated about 16 km from Mysore, just off the Mysore-Srirangapatnam road. A weir built in the 17th century by the ruler of Mysore across the River Kaveri has impounded water that is carried through an aqueduct to Srirangapatnam. The impounded water forms a large and deep reservoir with a number of islets, which provide good nesting habitat for birds. The Sanctuary is surrounded by irrigated agricultural fields where many birds forage. The flora is mainly riverine vegetation with Salix sp., Terminalia arjuna, Vitex sp., Pongamia pinnata, Ficus sp., Pithecolobium dulce, Pandanus tectorius, Caesalpinia bonducella, bamboos and sedges.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: The Sanctuary has a spectacular congregation of waterfowl and waders. At least 15 waterbirds breed at Rangananthittu: Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans, Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala, Large Egret Ardea alba, Median Egret Egretta intermedia, Little Egret E. garzetta, White Ibis or Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephala, Large Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, Indian Shag P. fuscicollis, Little Cormorant P. niger, Darter Anhinga melanogaster, Black-crowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax, Pond Heron Ardeola grayii, Purple Heron Ardea purpurea, Great Stone Plover Esacus magnirostris, and the Indian River Tern Sterna aurantia. Neginhal (1983) reported that about 200 pairs of Asian Openbill nest in Ranganathittu. He did not mention nesting by the Painted Stork. This stork was first seen in 1993, attempting to breed. By 2000, about 2,300 breeding pairs had taken over the colony (Thejaswi, undated), which is perhaps the largest nesting colony of Painted Stork in south India. Owing to its density and diversity of birds, this IBA has been listed as one of the top heronries in India by Subramanya (1996). Ranganathittu does not have records of many threatened species, except for some sightings of Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga in winter, and an occasional Oriental White-backed vulture Gyps bengalensis. The selection of this IBA is based on A4i criteria (A site known or thought to hold, on a regular basis, =1% of a biogeographic population of a congregatory waterbird species). Nesting of more than 2,300 pairs of Painted Stork is much above the 1% threshold (100) of this species determined by Wetlands International (2002). A total of 127 species have been identified from this IBA site, including 18 species listed in Biome-11 but none of them are presently of much conservation concern.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: The terrestrial and arboreal fauna of the Sanctuary includes Mongoose Herpestes edwardsi, Monitor Lizard Varanus bengalensis, Jungle Cat Felis chaus, Indian Flying Fox (Fruit Bats) Pteropus giganteus, Bonnet Macaque Macaca radiata and Palm Civets Paradoxurus hermaphroditus. About 13 species of fishes have been recorded at the site. A very healthy population of Marsh Crocodile Crocodylus palustris exists at the site. A sizeable numbers of Common Otter Lutra lutra can be seen at the site.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala resident  2004  present  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 

IBA Monitoring

2013 low favourable medium
unset
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

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  Unknown  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Ranganathittu Sanctuary 67 is identical to site 67  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   -

Land use

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

Acknowledgements Key contributors: IBA Team, S. Neginhal, Thejaswi Shivanand and S. Subramanya.

References 

Neginhal, S. G. (1983) The birds of Rangananthittu. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc.79: 581-593.

Neginhal, S. G. (1993) Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary. In: Bird Conservation- Strategies for the Nineties and beyond. (Eds. A, Verghese, S. Sridhar and A. K. Chakravarthy). Ornithological Society of India, Bangalore. Pp 88-89.

Subramanya, S. (1996) Distribution, status and conservation of Indian heronries. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 93: 459-486.

Subramanya, S., Karthikeyan, S. and Prasad, J. N. (1991) Raanganathittu; Flood havoc and aftermath. Newsletter for Birdwatchers 31(9-10): 5-7.

Thejaswi, S. (undated) Ranganathittu- a bird paradise. Booklet. Mysore Amateur Naturalists, Mysore.

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Rangananthittu Bird Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/12/2014

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