Country/territory: India

IBA Criteria met: A1 (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 750 ha

Protection status:

Bombay Natural History Society
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2003 very high not assessed not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
Once a large swamp on the floodplains of the Valapattanam river with reedbeds and mangrove vegetation, Kattampally was partly converted to paddy fields and coconut plantations. But this activity wrought havoc on the traditional agricultural system that used rice varieties, which thrived in saline water and had been sustainable for centuries. Less than half of the former paddy fields are in use now. There is no tidal effect now, but the water is still saline, especially in areas near the regulator. The mangroves are all gone, but reed beds and aquatic vegetation like water lilies are present. There are considerable stretches of open water also; the noxious weed Salvinia, a bane to the backwater system of south Kerala has infested this wetland. The area lies within 15 km from Kannur, the district headquarters. Not much information is available on the vegetation of this wetland, except that Salvinia has covered the surface.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: 158 species of birds have been reported (C. Sashi Kumar pers. comm. 2002). This IBA site is famous for thousands of Northern Pintail Anas acuta and Garganey Anas querquedula that congregate here during winter. Since 1999, Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga, a globally threatened species, has been observed to winter here regularly. During the winter of 2001 winter, there were two sightings of the Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina, which was seen again in November 2002. Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum has established a breeding colony here, the only one known in Kerala so far. This wetland serves as feeding ground to several heronries, the one at Pamburuthy, an islet in the Valapattanam river, being the largest. It is a regular counting site for the Waterfowl Census organised by Asian Wetland Bureau (now Wetlands International) since 1986. Kattampally does not fit the IBA criteria of congregations usually applied for waterfowl. But as a regular wintering area of Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga, which is a globally threatened species, classified as Vulnerable (BirdLife Internaional 2001), this site qualifies as an IBA under criteria A1. Further, the presence of Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina, now considered as a separate species and called Indian Spotted Eagle Aquila hastata, should enhance this claim.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Being a wetland, the number of terrestrial mammals here is rather limited, except for a stray Golden Jackal Canis aureus and Common Mongoose Herpestes edwardsi. Otter sp. is also reported from the wetland.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kattampally. Downloaded from on 15/07/2020.