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Location India, Karnataka
Central coordinates 75o 30.88' East  12o 24.05' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 10,501 ha
Altitude 64 - 1,659m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Talakaveri Sanctuary, situated in the Western Ghats, is mostly covered with tropical evergreen forests. It derives its name from the source of the Cauvery river (tala = head). This point is also a pilgrimage centre (Lal et al. 1994). The Sanctuary is approached by a 115 km road from Mangalore (via Puttur, Sulya and Madikeri) to Bhagamandala, which is 8 km from the eastern boundary of the Sanctuary. A few coffee and cardamom plantations are present within the Sanctuary (Manjrekar 2000). The Sanctuary consists of Tropical Evergreen Forests, Tropical Semi-evergreen Forests and grasslands (Lal et al. 1994). Cane and bamboo are found in the lower storey, as also shrub species such as Strobilanthes sp., Leea sambucina and Pandanus sp. (Manjrekar 2000).

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: There is not much information in the literature on this interesting Sanctuary, except for a popular article by Pittie (2000). He noted 62 species (A. Pittie in litt. 2003), including seven species listed in Biome-10 by BirdLife International (undated). According T. Shivanand (pers. comm. 2003) and A. Ahmad (in litt. 2002), this IBA has all the restricted range species, which should be expected here. Stattersfield et al. (1998) have listed 16 restricted range species in the Western Ghats Endemic Bird Area. This IBA has 13 of them. Only the Nilgiri Pipit Anthus nilghiriensis, Wynaad Laughingthrush Garrulax delesserti, and Nilgiri Laughingthrush G. cachinnans are missing, as they do not have a natural distribution so far north.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: This sanctuary has almost all the larger mammals seen in the Western Ghats such as the Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, Tiger Panthera tigris, Leopard P. pardus, Wild Dog Cuon alpinus, Gaur Bos frontalis, Sloth Bear Melursus ursinus, Bonnet Macaque Macaca radiata, Lion-tailed Macaque M. silenus, Common Langur Semnopithecus entellus, Chital Axis axis, Sambar Cervus unicolor, Wild Boar Sus scrofa, Indian Giant Squirrel Ratufa indica and Common Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista petaurista. Smaller carnivores include the Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Mongoose Herpestes edwardsii, and wild cats.Pangolin Manis crassicaudata is also reported. Reptile and amphibian fauna are also rich but an authentic checklist is not available.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Nilgiri Woodpigeon Columba elphinstonii resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Malabar Parakeet Psittacula columboides resident  2004  present  A2  Least Concern 
Malabar Grey Hornbill Ocyceros griseus resident  2004  present  A2  Least Concern 
White-bellied Treepie Dendrocitta leucogastra resident  2004  present  A2  Least Concern 
Grey-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus priocephalus resident  2004  present  A2  Near Threatened 
Broad-tailed Grassbird Schoenicola platyurus resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Rufous Babbler Turdoides subrufa resident  2004  present  A2  Least Concern 
Garrulax jerdoni resident  2004  present  A2  Not Recognised 
Brachypteryx major resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Not Recognised 
Black-and-rufous Flycatcher Ficedula nigrorufa resident  2004  present  A2  Near Threatened 
Nilgiri Flycatcher Eumyias albicaudatus resident  2004  present  A2  Near Threatened 
White-bellied Blue-flycatcher Cyornis pallipes resident  2004  present  A2  Least Concern 
Crimson-backed Sunbird Nectarinia minima resident  2004  present  A2  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2003 high not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - agro-industry farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) very rapid to severe deterioration low
Biological resource use fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: large scale happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: large scale likely in short term (within 4 years) majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities likely in long term (beyond 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Talakaveri Sanctuary 10,501 is identical to site 10,501  
Western Ghats World Heritage Site 0 protected area contains site 10,501  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry -
Notes: Plantations
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation & research
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism and recreation

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Thejaswi Shivanand and Ameen Ahmed.


Lal, R, Kothari, A., Pande, P. and Singh, S. (1994) Directory of National Parks and Sanctuaries in Karnataka, Management Status and Profiles. Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi. Pp. 231.

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

Pittie, A. (2000) Trekking to Tala Kaveri. Sanctuary Asia 20(6): 34-38.

Stattersfield, A. J., Crosby, M. J., Long, A. J. and Wedge, D. C. (1998) Endemic bird areas of the world- Priorities for biodiversity conservation. Birdlife Conservation series, No.7, Birdlife International, U.K.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Talakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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