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Location India, Tamil Nadu
Central coordinates 76o 31.68' East  11o 12.87' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 12 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Bison Swamp is located at the southwest end of Nilgiris district, Tamil Nadu, very close to the Kerala border. It is a part of the Korakundah Range of the Nilgiris South Forest Division. Francis (1908) in the Nilgiri Gazetteer describes the origin of its name, from the congregation of Indian Bison or Gaur Bos frontalis, which the early settlers often hunted. During the last century, Bison Swamp experienced extensive habitat changes affecting its flora and fauna. It was extensively planted with exotics such as Eucalyptus globulus and Wattle Acacia mearnsii. A very small proportion of natural shola and grassland remains. Despite habitat loss and degradation, this IBA is still important for the conservation of endemic and threatened birds such as the Nilgiri Laughingthrush Garrulax cachinnans. Natural vegetation of this site can be classified into two major types namely, Southern Montane Wet Temperate Forest (shola), and grasslands. Both have been converted to plantations. Patches of grasslands, between plantation and shola patches, remain in Bison Swamp. Plantations of Wattle and Eucalyptus now occupy a major portion of Bison Swamp. Wattle forms impenetrable thickets, severely affecting the movement of larger mammals. It regenerates and spreads quickly, and may be termed invasive.

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 
Rufous-throated Wren-babbler Spelaeornis caudatus resident  2004  present  A2  Near Threatened 
Black-chinned Laughingthrush Strophocincla cachinnans resident  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Nilgiri Blue Robin Myiomela major resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Endangered 
Black-and-rufous Flycatcher Ficedula nigrorufa resident  2004  present  A2  Near Threatened 
Nilgiri Flycatcher Eumyias albicaudatus resident  2004  present  A2  Near Threatened 
Crimson-backed Sunbird Nectarinia minima 2004  present  A2  Least Concern 
Nilgiri Pipit Anthus nilghiriensis resident  2004  present  A2  Vulnerable 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   -
Forest   -
Shrubland   -
Grassland   -
Wetlands (inland)   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry -
Notes: Forestry operations; Plantation

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Ashfaq Ahmed Zarri.


Zarri, A. A., Rahmani, A. R., and Senthilmurugan, S. (2002) Ecology of Shola and Alpine Grasslands. Annual report. 2 Part 1. Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bison Swamp (Nilgiri). Downloaded from on 30/10/2014

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