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Location India, Tamil Nadu
Central coordinates 77o 31.00' East  9o 32.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 251 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Watrap Periakulam and Virakasamuthrakulam are situated 5 km west of the town Watrap in Virudhunagar District. The two wetlands are divided by the Watrap-Pulavakkal dam road. These wetlands receive water from the Pulavakkal dam situated in the Sirivilliputhur Hills of the Western Ghats. Locally they are called ‘system tanks.’ Periakulam has been planted with a large number of Acacia nilotica trees which attract breeding and roosting waterbirds. Areas covered by Scirpus are frequented by rails and grebes. The Virakasamuthrakulam tank is more open, and devoid of Acacia nilotica. According to the villagers, the open water attracts congregations of ducks and pelicans. The wetlands are not rich in aquatic flora, except for Scirpus, Cyperus pygmeus, C. difformis and Cynodon dactylon.

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 
Little Cormorant Microcarbo niger 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster resident  2004  present  A4i  Near Threatened 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture -
Notes: Irrigation and Fishing
water management -
Notes: Irrigation and Fishing

Acknowledgements Key contributors: S. Balachandran and S. S. Ramchandra Raja.


Manakadan, R. and Kannan, V. (2003) A Study of the Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis Gmelin in Southern India with special reference to its conservation: Final Report. Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai. Pp 78.

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: Watrap Periakulam and Virakasamuthrakulam. Downloaded from on 30/10/2014

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