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Location India, Maharashtra
Central coordinates 74o 12.00' East  21o 38.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 33,400 ha
Altitude 500 - 600m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society



Site description Taloda Forest range is located in Taloda tehsil of Nandurbar district, south of the Narmada river and c. 60 km from the Gujarat border. The general topography of the area consists of steep hills with open as well as dense patches of dry deciduous forests. The Bheels and Pawaras are the dominant tribes in this area. They have a rich cultural diversity. In some remote areas, they still lead their traditional way of life, untouched by modernity. They are totally dependent on forests for their day-to-day requirements. Taloda forest was made famous in 1997 when the Forest Owlet Heteroglaux blewitti was found here by P. C. Rasmussen and F. Ishtiaq (Ishtiaq 1999). In 2003, some areas near the forest owlet site was cleared for rehabilitation of tribals from the Sardar Sarovar dam site. The forest is of Tropical Dry Deciduous type. The dominant species are Teak Tectona grandis and Anogeissus latifolia, with several associated species such as Boswellia serrata, Mitragyna parvifolia, Adina cordifolia, Madhuca indica and Bombax ceiba. Grasses like Cymbopogon are commonly found on the slopes.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Taloda forest range is one of the refuges of the highly endangered and endemic Forest Owlet Heteroglaux blewitti. This bird is listed as Critically Endangered by BirdLife International (2001). The species was thought to be extinct, until its rediscovery in 1997 by King and Rasmussen (1998). Later during a BNHS study on the Forest Owlet, three pairs were recorded here in 2000 (Ishtiaq and Rahmani 2000). In the past, James Davidson had collected four specimens of Forest Owlet from Taloda tehsil (Davidson 1881). Taloda is one of the few sites in India that come under the Secondary Area category of BirdLife International. Secondary area is an area which supports one or more Restricted Range species, but does not qualify as an Endemic Bird Area because the number of species entirely confined to it is less than two. The globally threatened Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga is also found here in winter. Taloda is one of the few sites where three Critically Endangered species are found.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: The mammalian fauna of the Reserve Forest includes Leopard Panthera pardus, Four-horned Antelope Tetracerus quadricornis, Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak, Sloth Bear Melursus ursinus, Jungle Cat Felis chaus, Common Langur Semnopithecus entellus, and the Rufous-tailed Hare Lepus nigricollis ruficaudatus.

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 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Indian Vulture Gyps indicus non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Forest Owlet Heteroglaux blewitti resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Critically Endangered 

Habitats

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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
forestry -
Notes: Forestry

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Girish Jathar and Farah Ishtiaq.

References 

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

Davidson, J. (1881) Rough list of birds of Khandesh. Stray Feathers 10: 279-327.

Ishtiaq, F. (1999) Forest Owlet – an update. Hornbill June- Sept: 26-28.

Ishtiaq, F. (2000). Red Data Bird: Forest Spotted Owlet. Newsletter for Birdwatchers40 (3): 29-31.

Ishtiaq, F. and A. R. Rahmani (2000) Further information on status and distribution of Forest Owlet (Athene blewitti). Forktail. 16: 125- 130.

King, B. F. and P. C. Rasmussen (1998) The rediscovery of the Forest Owlet Athene (Heteroglaux) blewitti. Forktail. 14: 51-53.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Taloda Reserve Forest. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/11/2014

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