Year of compilation: 2004
AVIFAUNA: The avifauna of the Sanctuary is typical of semi-arid areas. Besides the two critically endangered Gyps species of vultures, which have a wide distribution and are not confined to this IBA or habitat alone, this IBA has four Vulnerable and two Near Threatened species. The sighting of Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon, a Vulnerable species (BirdLife International 2001), in Cauvery is interesting. This bird occurs in Moist Evergreen Forests in the Western Ghats complex, but moves a lot in search of fruiting trees. Therefore, it sometimes visits the Cauvery forests also. It seems that it is much more widespread than thought earlier. This site is an important area for the Pied Tit Parus nuchalis and has been recorded at several locations in and around this IBA (Lott and Lott 1999). BirdLife International (undated) have listed 15 species that represent Biome-10 (Indian Peninsula Tropical Moist Forest). Even with no detailed work on bird life, nine out of 15 species have been seen in this site, more are likely to be recorded if proper study on birds is conducted. Although, this site lies in the drier zone of Karnataka, it also has some patches of forest where species of tropical moist forest are also seen. In the Indo-Malayan Tropical Dry Zone i.e. Biome-11, BirdLife International (undated) has listed 59 species. Most of them are common, but nevertheless important representatives of their biomes. In Cauvery, 25 species have been recorded belonging to this biome, including Near Threatened Redheaded Vulture Sarcogyps calvus. Lott (1987a, 1987b, 1987c) has identified 127 species in and around Kaveri Valley. Shivanand (in press) has shown that the Cauvery basin, covering about 81,15,500 ha is an important wintering area for the globally threatened Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga. He saw them on 29 sites, including two riverine areas.
OTHER KEY FAUNA: Other fauna of the site includes Leopard Panthera pardus, Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, Wild Boar Sus scrofa, Sambar Cervus unicolor, Spotted Deer Axis axis, Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak, Four-horned Antelope Tetracerus quadricornis, Malabar Giant Squirrel Ratufa indica maxima, Grizzled Giant Squirrel Ratufa macroura, Common Otter Lutra lutra and Black-naped Hare Lepus nigricollis. This Sanctuary is possibly one of the last refuges of the highly endangered Grizzled Giant Squirrel in Karnataka (Manjrekar 2000). Reptiles include Marsh Crocodiles Crocodylus palustris, Turtles Chelonia sp, Indian Rock Python Python molurus, Indian Cobra Naja naja, Russell’s Viper Daboia russelii and Banded Krait Bungarus fasciatus. This Sanctuary is known for its Mahseer fish Tor spp.
The Kanipanpura Elephant Corridor connects the high elephant density areas such as Nagarhole NP - Bandipur NP - Wynaad WLS - Mudumalai WLS complex in the Western Ghats with areas in the Eastern Ghats, such as Sathyamangalam and Kollegal Reserve Forests and the Biligiriranga Temple Sanctuary to Cauvery WLS. However, this corridor is threatened by the Pykara Hydroelectric project. As the Sanctuary lies on the border of two states, poaching is a big problem due to lack of coordination among the forest staff of the two states.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/05/2022.