Talakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary

Year of compilation: 2004

Site description
Talakaveri Sanctuary, situated in the Western Ghats, is mostly covered with tropical evergreen forests. It derives its name from the source of the Cauvery river (tala = head). This point is also a pilgrimage centre (Lal et al. 1994). The Sanctuary is approached by a 115 km road from Mangalore (via Puttur, Sulya and Madikeri) to Bhagamandala, which is 8 km from the eastern boundary of the Sanctuary. A few coffee and cardamom plantations are present within the Sanctuary (Manjrekar 2000). The Sanctuary consists of Tropical Evergreen Forests, Tropical Semi-evergreen Forests and grasslands (Lal et al. 1994). Cane and bamboo are found in the lower storey, as also shrub species such as Strobilanthes sp., Leea sambucina and Pandanus sp. (Manjrekar 2000).

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: There is not much information in the literature on this interesting Sanctuary, except for a popular article by Pittie (2000). He noted 62 species (A. Pittie in litt. 2003), including seven species listed in Biome-10 by BirdLife International (undated). According T. Shivanand (pers. comm. 2003) and A. Ahmad (in litt. 2002), this IBA has all the restricted range species, which should be expected here. Stattersfield et al. (1998) have listed 16 restricted range species in the Western Ghats Endemic Bird Area. This IBA has 13 of them. Only the Nilgiri Pipit Anthus nilghiriensis, Wynaad Laughingthrush Garrulax delesserti, and Nilgiri Laughingthrush G. cachinnans are missing, as they do not have a natural distribution so far north.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: This sanctuary has almost all the larger mammals seen in the Western Ghats such as the Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, Tiger Panthera tigris, Leopard P. pardus, Wild Dog Cuon alpinus, Gaur Bos frontalis, Sloth Bear Melursus ursinus, Bonnet Macaque Macaca radiata, Lion-tailed Macaque M. silenus, Common Langur Semnopithecus entellus, Chital Axis axis, Sambar Cervus unicolor, Wild Boar Sus scrofa, Indian Giant Squirrel Ratufa indica and Common Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista petaurista. Smaller carnivores include the Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Mongoose Herpestes edwardsii, and wild cats.Pangolin Manis crassicaudata is also reported. Reptile and amphibian fauna are also rich but an authentic checklist is not available.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
MAIN THREATS: Anthropogenic activities; Habitat alteration; Tree felling; Dynamite fishing in Cauvery river.

The Sanctuary has five enclosures within it. All of these are closed canopy private forests, none of which have all-weather roads. Recently, owners of the 500-acre enclosure at Kurudi have begun intensive farming. They are converting the forests into agricultural lands. For this and similar purposes, the owner of this enclosure has applied for permission to clear fell a large portion of the area. Though the Virajpet Territorial Division has given permission to fell the trees, the owner of the enclosure has been denied permission for transportation of the felled trees by the Wildlife Wing authorities. The trees have to pass through the Sanctuary boundary before being taken out. The Sanctuary authorities feel that giving permission to transport the timber would mean repairing of the existing forest roads, inflow of labour force, construction of permanent structures and other similar activities. All this would have a serious negative impact on the pristine wildlife of the area.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Talakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 11/08/2020.