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Location India, Tamil Nadu
Central coordinates 78o 0.57' East  9o 33.50' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 1,362 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description The Kullur Sandai Reservoir is located in Aruppukottai Taluka of Virudunagar district, about 8 km along the Palavanatham road. It is about 80 km southwest of Madurai. The climate of this region is semiarid tropical monsoon type, with high temperature and low humidity. It receives scanty rainfall, with an annual average of just 800 mm. The reservoir receives most of the rainfall during the northeast monsoon from October to December. It also receives inflows from the Khowsika river, which originates in the Western Ghats. The Vallikulam stream also flows into the Reservoir during the monsoon. Kullur Sandai Reservoir has a waterspread of 1,361 ha. The Public Works and the Fisheries Departments protect the dam and undertake measures for storing water and also for fish culture. Apart from the Kullur Sandai Reservoir, there are other irrigation reservoirs in the area (Anaikootam, Vembakottai and Golwarpatti). Pelicans and other birds move between these various waterbodies according to the availability of water. The dam and its environs are rich in aquatic vegetation, with tall and medium Borassus flabellifer trees along the banks. The fringes have been invaded by Ipomoea carnea. The reservoir is fortunately free of water hyacinth.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis resident  2004  present  A1  Near Threatened 


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
fisheries/aquaculture -
Notes: Pisciculture
rangeland/pastureland -
Notes: Grazing
water management -
Notes: Domestic use; Irrigation; Water management

Acknowledgements Key contributor: V. Kannan.


Johnson, J. M., Perennou, C. and Crivelli, A. (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.

Manakadan, R. and Kannan, V. (2003) A study of Spot-billed Pelicans Pelecanus philippensis with special reference to its conservation. Final Report, Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai.

Wetlands 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: Kullur Sandai Reservoir. Downloaded from on 20/10/2014

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