Lingambudhi Lake and environs

Country/territory: India

IBA Criteria met: A1, A4i, A4iii (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 76 ha

Protection status:

Bombay Natural History Society
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2013 low favourable negligible
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
This small lake has a variety of habitats which sustain a vibrant birdlife - wetlands, including the lake and adjacent paddy fields, mudflats and drains, open dry land, scrub forest, Sesbania and Acacia plantations, grassland, bamboo groves, mango and coconut groves, and orchards. Lingambudhi Lake was established in 1828 AD by Krishnaraja Wodeyar, ruler of the erstwhile State of Mysore, in memory of his wife. A farm of medicinal plants has been set up in a portion of the 108 ha of Forest Department land surrounding the lake, which includes a part of the wetland.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: Bird life has been studied for the past 18 years, and intensive daily bird watching for the past six years indicates the presence of 304 species in less than 250 ha. The lake is an important staging ground for migratory waders of nearly twenty species. It hosts over 5,000 waders during the spring migration and over 1,000 in the autumn migration. During spring migration, the largest components in the wader group are the Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola and the Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea (up to 400). In the autumn migration, up to 300 Curlew Sandpiper and 200 Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola have been seen. Thejaswi et al. (2000) have counted up to 25,000 ducks in January 1998, and 4,000 waders on a single day in March the same year. A large number of egrets Egretta spp. (up to 3,000), mynas Acridotheres spp. and the Rosy Starling Sturnus roseus (up to 10,000) regularly roost in the area (Thejaswi 2001). The lake hosts a large number of the globally threatened Spotbilled Pelican Pelecanus philippensis every summer, when other lakes dry up. In March-April 2002, nearly 600 birds of this species, whose world population is estimated by Wetlands International (2002) between 2,500 to 5,000 and the threshold for 1% of biogeographic population set at 40, making it an extremely important site for the species in southern India and qualifying it as an IBA under criterion A4i. The lake is the only known regular breeding site in southern India of the extremely rare Indian subspecies of the Lesser Spotted Eagle Aquila pomarina hastata (Thejaswi and Shivaprakash, in press), the only other known breeding site being Bharatpur in north India. Recently, Rasmussen and Anderton (in press) have upgraded this subspecies to a full species, Aquila hastata. The lake, when full, also occasionally hosts a mixed nesting colony of Cormorants Phalacrocorax spp., Darter Anhinga melanogaster and Grey Herons Ardea cinerea. The Spot-billed Pelican has also attempted to breed here. Birds rare in India such as Rusty-rumped Grasshopper-Warbler Locustella certhiola (Thejaswi and Shivaprakash in press) and Black Tern Chlidonias niger (Thejasvi and Shivaprakash in press) have been recorded from the lake.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: This IBA, which is only partially protected, has around 110 species of butterflies. No large wild mammal of any conservation concern is found here.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lingambudhi Lake and environs. Downloaded from on 09/07/2020.