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Location India, Kerala
Central coordinates 76o 24.42' East  10o 36.75' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 12,500 ha
Altitude 186 - 922m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society



Site description The Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary falls in Trichur district in Kerala, the talukas being Trichur and Thalapilly. The Sanctuary was formed in 1958 by combining some portions of Peechi, Pattikkad and Machad ranges of Trichur Forest Division. The Sanctuary includes parts of Paravattanimala Reserve, Machadmala Reserve and Bharanipachamala Reserve. Two dams are present within the Sanctuary with waterspread of 1,295 ha and 184.3 ha, respectively. The terrain is undulating, the altitude varies from 100 to 914 m, with the highest peak Ponmudi. The Sanctuary is contiguous with the Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary (IBA) on the east and the forests of Palakkad on the north. But, the continuity of the Peechi Forest Range with the Vazhani side has been lost due to the Trichur-Palakkad national highway.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: In a survey conducted by the Nature Education Society, Trichur in 1991, 177 species of birds were identified from this IBA. Sri Lanka Frogmouth Batrachostomus moniliger, a restricted range species of the Western Ghats Endemic Bird Area (EBA) (Stattersfield et al. 1998), was recorded in a reed patch near Palakuzhi (Easa 1991, Nameer 2000). This nocturnal bird is generally found in dense jungle perched on a tree (Ali and Ripley 1987), looking like a piece of dead branch. Wynaad Laughingthrush Garrulax delesserti and Broad-tailed Grass-Warbler Schoenicola platyura, both endemic to the Western Ghats are also found here. The Broad-tailed Grass-Warbler is normally sighted above 900 m (Easa 1991). The sighting of this species at Palakuzhi, at less than 100 m, is a record. A nest of the Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica (=latirostris) was also recorded near Karadipara (Easa 1991). Although, not many globally threatened species are found in this site, except for the Broad-tailed Grass-Warbler, seven out of 16 restricted range or endemic species of the Western Ghats EBA are found here. More endemics are likely to occur here as the habitat is quite suitable and moreover, this site adjoins Chimmony where at least two endemics, Grey-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus priocephalus and White-bellied Blue Flycatcher Cyornis pallipes, are found that are not reported from this site. The site lies in Biome-10 (Indian Peninsula Tropical Moist Forest), where BirdLife International (undated) has listed 15 species that represent the biome-assemblage. Based on the checklist prepared by the Nature Education Society, seven species of this biome are found here. Probably more will be located once thorough investigation on the bird life is done. Interestingly, this IBA is an important wintering area for many subtropical and temperate birds of the Himalaya such as Largecrowned Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus occipitalis, Rufous-tailed Flycatcher Muscicapa ruficauda, Blue-headed Rock-thrush Monticola cinclorhynchus, Pied Thrush Zoothera wardii and Brown-breasted Flycatcher Muscicapa muttui. Sixteen species of Biome-11 (Indo-Malayan Tropical Dry Zone) are also found here, but most of them are widespread and common. Many species of this biome have adapted to man-modified habitats, and some have changed their distribution so much that they may not be confined to Biome-11 only (BirdLife International, undated).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Among the primates, Bonnet Macaque Macaca radiata, Nilgiri Langur Trachypithecus johni and Slender Loris Loris lydekkerianus are very often observed in the evergreen, semievergreen and moist deciduous areas of the Sanctuary. The Tiger Panthera tigris, Leopard P. pardus and Jungle Cat Felis chaus are among the felines present in the Sanctuary. The Canids are represented by Indian Wild Dog Cuon alpinus and Golden Jackal Canis aureus. The Bovids present are the Gaur Bos gaurus and Nilgiri Tahr Hemitragus hylocrius. The Cervids include Chital Axis axis, Sambar Cervus unicolor and Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak. The Asian Elephant Elephas maximus is also found, though not in good numbers. The Giant Squirrel Ratufa indica is common in dense canopy forests.

Peechi-Vazhani is important for many endemic reptiles of the Western Ghats. Bhupathy and Choudhary (1995) have recorded the Travancore Tortoise Indotestudo forstenii. Thomas and Easa (1997) recorded thirty-one species of reptiles from Peechi area.

Of these, the Travancore Tortoise, Gliding Lizard Draco dussumieri, Forest Calotes Calotes rouxi, C. elliotti, Dwarf Gecko Cnemaspis waynadensis, and Ristella beddomii are endemic to the Western Ghats.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Malabar Parakeet Psittacula columboides 2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Malabar Grey Hornbill Ocyceros griseus 2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
White-bellied Treepie Dendrocitta leucogastra 2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Grey-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus priocephalus 2004  present  A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Broad-tailed Grassbird Schoenicola platyurus resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Rufous Babbler Turdoides subrufa 2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Wynaad Laughingthrush Garrulax delesserti 2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Nilgiri Blue Robin Myiomela major resident  2004  present  A1, A2, A3  Endangered 
Black-and-rufous Flycatcher Ficedula nigrorufa resident  2004  present  A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Nilgiri Flycatcher Eumyias albicaudatus resident  2004  present  A2, A3  Near Threatened 
White-bellied Blue-flycatcher Cyornis pallipes 2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Crimson-backed Sunbird Nectarinia minima 2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Nilgiri Pipit Anthus nilghiriensis resident  2004  present  A2, A3  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Peechi-Vazhani Sanctuary 12,500 is identical to site 12,500  

Habitats

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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry -
Notes: Forestry
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research

Acknowledgements Key contributors: P. S. Easa and P. O. Nameer..

References 

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

Bhupathy, S. and Choudhary, B. C. (1995) Status, Distribution and Conservation of the Travancore Tortoise, Indotestudo forsteni in the Western Ghats J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 92: 16-21.

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

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

Easa, P. S. (1991) Birds of Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary. A survey report. Nature Education Society, Trichur (NEST), Kerala.

Nameer, P. O. (2000) Birds of Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary. A survey report. Nature Education Society, Kerala Forest Department

Stattersfield, A. J., Crosby, M. J., Long, A. J. and Wege, D. C. (1998) Endemic Bird Areas of the World: Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation. BirdLife Conservation Series No. 7. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Thomas, J. and Easa, P. S. (1997) Reptile Fauna of Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary. Cobra, 29: 14-18.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Peechi - Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/12/2014

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