|Location||India, Tamil Nadu|
|Central coordinates||78o 29.00' East 9o 19.80' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i|
|Year of IBA assessment||2004|
Site description Chitrangudi (48 ha) and Kanjirankulam (104 ha) Bird Sanctuaries are situated in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu, in the villages of the same names. The Sanctuaries are c. 5 km from Mudukulathur and c. 25 km from Paramakudi, in a drought prone area. The floral diversity is very poor and the area seems to be scrub jungle type. The area has been planted with Prosopis chilensis and Acacia nilotica in the villages and around the tanks; the two species were introduced and planted by the Forest Department on a massive scale to sustain firewood collection. Tamarind Tamarindus indicus is the only common tree, seen sporadically on the roads and the tank bunds. Due to the nature of the soil and scanty rainfall, the natural vegetation is sparse.
AVIFAUNA: The site qualifies as an IBA as the threatened Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis breeds here. A maximum of 100 birds reportedly breed, i.e 2.5% of the species biogeographic population at the 1% level of 40 birds (Wetlands International 2002). Chitrangudi and Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary are two of the oldest known pelicanries in the state. Since time immemorial, the locals have protected both the pelicanries. In January 1988, in Chitrangudi Sanctuary, 934 Pelicans and 100 nests were found (BirdLife International 2001). Johnson et al. (1993) have seen 700 pelicans in January 1989, and 286 in 1991 in the same tank. Besides the Spot-billed Pelican, the Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans, Little Egret Egretta garzetta, Large Egret Casmerodius albus, Grey Heron Ardea cinerea, Purple Heron Ardea purpurea, and Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii are known to breed in both villages. In Kanjirankulam, Abraham (1973) found Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala breeding on the same trees as pelicans nests were found. During his visit, the nesting colony was on 60 trees, mainly Ficus religiosa, Thespesia populnea and Acacia arabica. He also found nesting colonies of Oriental White Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus and Black Ibis Pseudibis papillosa, about 1.6 km away from Kanjirankulam.
OTHER KEY FAUNA: Due to the presence of scrub jungle and surrounding agricultural fields, the vegetation cover does not permit the presence of large or medium sized mammals.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis||resident||2004||present||-||A1, A4i||Near Threatened|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Chitrangudi||Sanctuary||48||protected area contained by site||48|
|Kanjirankulam||Sanctuary||104||protected area contained by site||104|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - aquatic||-|
|Artificial - terrestrial||-|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: Water management|
Acknowledgements Key contributor: V. Kannan.
Abraham, S. (1973) The Kanjirankulam breeding bird sanctuasry in the Ramnad District of Tamil Nadu. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 70: 549-552.
BirdLife International (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: The BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.
Johnson, J. M., Perennou, C. and A. Crivelli (1993) Towards the extinction of the Spot-billed Pelican (Pelecanus philippensis), 92-94. In: Wetland and Waterfowl Conservation in south and west Asia (Eds. M. Moser and J. Van Versem). IWRB Spec. Publ. No. 25: AWB Publ. No. 85.
Wetland International (2002) Waterbird 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: Chitragudi and Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/11/2014
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