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Location India, Pondicherry,Tamil Nadu
Central coordinates 79o 44.22' East  11o 56.85' North
IBA criteria A4i, A4iii
Area 800 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Ousteri lake is located partly in Pondicherry and partly in Tamil Nadu near Ossudu village in the Villanur commune panchayat, about 12 km from Pondicherry, north of the Kaveri river. The lake depends on its catchment for 75% of its water, the rest comes from diversion channels. The lake is fed by local run-off and an intermittent river and has a bund on its western bank. It has an average depth of 1 m and dries up completely in summer. Besides being an internationally important site for migratory birds, the lake’s most valuable use is for irrigation. The lake has rich floral diversity of over 200 species of plants belonging to 60 families. Part of the bund is well protected by trees. It has extensive aquatic flora of the floating, submerged and emergent type.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Cotton Pygmy-goose Nettapus coromandelianus 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Little Cormorant Microcarbo niger 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture -
Notes: Fisheries
urban/industrial/transport -
Notes: Transport
water management -
Notes: Water management

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Priya Davidar, Aju Mukhopaddhyay, Supriya Jhunjhunwala and S. Balachandran.


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

Balachandran, S. and Alagahrajan, R. (1995) An ecological survey of the wetlands of Pondicherry with special reference to Ousteri lake. Institute of Restoration of Natural Environment, Nagercoil. Pp. 40.

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

Jhunjhunwala, S. (1998) The ornithological importance of Ousteri lake and Bahour lake: A study of the habitat preferences of their waterfowl and waders. M.Sc. Dissertation. Salim Ali School of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Pondicherry University.

Wetlands International (2002) Waterbirds Population 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: Ousteri Lake. Downloaded from on 22/10/2014

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