|Location||India, Tamil Nadu|
|Central coordinates||77o 43.80' East 8o 28.20' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i|
|Year of IBA assessment||2004|
Site description The Koonthangulam Bird Sanctuary is located in Naguneri Taluka of Tirunelveli district between Moolakaraipatti and Kariandi. It is about 20 km from Tirunelveli town. It is a rain and river-fed freshwater tank, and receives water from the Manimuthar river. The globally threatened Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis breeds here, along with other birds. It is one of the oldest known pelicanries in India, having existed for 200 years or more. Rhenius first reported this pelicanry in 1906 (Rhenius 1907). The villagers believe that the birds that come to Koonthangulam are harbingers of good luck and their yearly arrival ensures good rainfall. They also benefit from the rich guano deposited in the breeding colonies. This is used to fertilize the fields. Guano-rich tank water is used for irrigation. Koonthangulam (also transcribed as Koondakulam) has a large tank within the village precints, and several smaller tanks scattered in the vicinity. These waterbodies and the fields are the main foraging grounds for birds. Koonthangulam is basically an agricultural area, so there is no forest as such. Acacia nilotica has been planted in about 35.5 ha. This is where most of the birds nest.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus||-||2004||present||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis||resident||2004||present||-||A1, A4i||Near Threatened|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Kuthankulam||Sanctuary||129||is identical to site||129|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: Irrigation; Water management|
Acknowledgements Key contributors: V. Kannan, Robert Grubh and Asad R. Rahmani.
Anonymous (1993) Directory of Indian Wetlands, 1993. WWF India, New Delhi and Asian Wetland Bureau, Kuala Lumpur.
BirdLife International (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: The BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.
Kumar, S. V. (1993) Koondakulam. Sanctuary 14(8): 40-41, 70-73.
Nagulu, V. and Rao, J. V. R. (1983) Survey of south Indian pelicanries. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 80(1): 141-143.
Rhenius, C. E. (1907) Pelicans breeding in India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 17: 806-807.
Thomas, J., De Britto, A. J., Johnson, J. A. and Sridhar, S. (2000) A preliminary study on the biodiversity of Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. Indian Journal of Environmental Sciences 4(2): 135-142.
Webb-Peploe, C. G. (1945) Notes on a few birds from south of the Tinnevelly district. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 45: 425-426.
Wilkinson, M. E. (1961) Pelicanry at Kundakulam, Tirunelveli district. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 58: 514-515.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kunthangulam Bird Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/09/2014
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