Year of compilation: 2004
AVIFAUNA: Gudavi is very popular with birdwatchers. Gururaja et al. (1993) have identified 254 species. The Sanctuary harbours 10-12 thousand birds of various species. Subramanya (1996) lists Gudavi as one of the top 10 heronries in India. It provides traditional nesting sites for more than 5,000 White or Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephala every year (B. B. Hosetti pers. comm. 2003). BirdLife International (2001) has listed the Black-headed Ibis as one of the Near Threatened species. Wetlands International (2002) states that the 1% biogeographical population of this species is only 100. Therefore, Gudavi Bird Sanctuary holds a significant global population of this species. Other species found nesting are cormorants, herons and egrets. Near Threatened species include Greater Grey-headed Fishing Eagle Ichthyophaga ichthyaetus, Malabar Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros coronatus and Darter Anhinga melanogaster. In the surrounding forest, three restricted range (endemic) species of the Western Ghats Endemic Bird Area are found.
OTHER KEY FAUNA: As this is a small wetland sanctuary for birds, surrounded by agricultural fields and human habitation, large mammals are absent.
However, Bonnet Macaque Macaca radiata, Common Langur Semnopithecus entellus, Wild Boar Sus scrofa, Black-naped Hare Lepus nigricollis and Golden Jackal Canis aureus are seen in the environs. The tank water holds a significant population of several hundred Peninsular Mud Turtle or the Indian Flapshell Lissemys punctata (Ragunatha 1993).
The Sanctuary is maintained by the State Forest Department. Shooting and trapping are strictly prohibited by the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. However, fishing, grazing, cutting of trees and grasses for firewood, fodder and other domestic agricultural purposes are the major activities in the Sanctuary. The surrounding areas are under paddy cultivation and arecanut plantations. The freshwater tank is threatened by siltation and degradation of vegetation in the catchment area, mainly because of overgrazing by cattle from surrounding villages.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Gudavi Bird Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/05/2022.