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Location India, Maharashtra
Central coordinates 73o 42.52' East  17o 38.43' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 42,652 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the tehsils of Jawali and Patan in Satara district, western Maharashtra, covering an area of 42,355 ha and extending westwards till Ratnagiri district. Koyna WLS includes the eastern and western catchments of the Koyna Dam, which is a major hydroelectric project in western Maharashtra, currently generating 2200 MW. The reservoir of the dam is known as Shivasagar. The Sanctuary is well protected to a large extent by the Shivasagar reservoir and steep slopes. The Chandoli corridor connects this Sanctuary to Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary in the south. At the centre of the Sanctuary lies the historical Vasota fort, constructed during 1178-1193, which was taken over by the great Maratha warrior, Chhatrapati Shivaji in 1655 and used as a prison. During the Peshwa regime in 1817 AD, the fort was taken by the British after intense war, which resulted in its destruction. Now only ruins of the fort remain. The vegetation consists of Southern Tropical Evergreen Forest and Southern Moist Mixed Deciduous Forest, as per the classification of Champion and Seth (1968). The Sanctuary hosts a threatened tree species called Narkya Mappia foetida. Euphorbia longana and Elaecoarpus tectorius are other uncommon species. Giant trees such as Harpullia arbore and Turpunia malabarica, endemic to the Western Ghats, are commonly found in this IBA.

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 
Nilgiri Woodpigeon Columba elphinstonii resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Malabar Grey Hornbill Ocyceros griseus 2004  present  A2  Least Concern 
Crimson-backed Sunbird Nectarinia minima 2004  present  A2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Koyana Sanctuary 42,355 is identical to site 42,355  
Western Ghats World Heritage Site 795,315 protected area contains site 42,652  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
energy production and mining -
Notes: Hydroelectric project
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature Conservation

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Girish Jathar, Varad Giri and Asad Akhtar.


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

Champion, H. G. and Seth, S. K. (1968) A revised survey of forest types of India.Govt. of India Press, Delhi.

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 24/09/2014

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