Amarambalam Reserved Forest - Nilambur

Country/territory: India

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2, A3 (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 26,572 ha

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

Site description
Amarambalam Reserve Forest is one of the largest reserve forests of Kerala. It shows very high altitudinal gradation from 40 m to 2554 m, and coupled with high rainfall, the forest cover is extremely thick. It continues with the Silent Valley National Park (an IBA) and also forms a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (Sharma et al. 2000).

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: P. O. Nameer, State Coordinator of Indian Bird Conservation Network (IBCN) has identified 212 species of birds from Nilambur and Amarambalam reserve forests. The site lies in the Western Ghats Endemic Bird Area (Stattersfield et al. 1998) where 16 Restricted Range species have been identified. Eight such species have been sighted in this IBA. Beside the Restricted Range species, one Critically Endangered, and two Vulnerable species are also known to occur. BirdLife International (2001) has also identified 52 Near Threatened species in India. Three of them are found in this IBA, but more are likely to be found once detailed studies are conducted. Amarambalam Reserve Forest lies in Biome-10 (Indian Peninsula Tropical Moist Forest), classified by BirdLife International (undated). In this Biome, 15 bird species have been identified as typical biome assemblage. Twelve such species are found in this IBA. Interestingly, P. O. Nameer (pers. comm. 2003) has seen 11 species of woodpeckers and three species of barbets, seven species of bulbuls, nine species of babblers and 11 species of flycatchers. This shows that the habitat, at least for birds, is still intact in this site. Sharma et al. (2000) found high bird diversity index comparable to other areas. Shannon-Weiner Index was 3.73 and Simpson’s Index of diversity was 0.04. The bird community showed high evenness. Maximum species richness was obtained during November and highest diversity index was recorded during April.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: This site has almost all the large and small mammals found in the Western Ghats. Sharma et al. (2000) have reported 25 mammals, including the endemic and threatened Lion-tailed Macaque Macaca silenus and Nilgiri Tahr Hemitragus hylocrius (observed near Mukurthi NP, another IBA).

Key contributor: P. O. Nameer.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Amarambalam Reserved Forest - Nilambur. Downloaded from on 25/06/2022.