Kadakachang (Katakatchang)

Country/territory: India

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

Area: 1,300 ha

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

Site description
Kadakachang, also spelt Katakatchang, is situated between Bamboo Flat and Wimberlygunj in South Andaman Island. The area harbours lowland evergreen rain forest, semi-evergreen rain forest and mangrove forest. It also has mangrove swamps and marshes. Coconut plantations have destroyed much of the earlier vegetation (Vijayan and Sankaran 2000). The climate is hot and humid, with heavy rainfall from both the southwest and northeast monsoon. The maximum precipitation is between May and December, the driest period being between January and April (Sankaran 1995). Despite biotic pressures, the mangroves are fairly intact. Large stands of Rhizophora apiculata, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Ceriops tagal, Cerbera odollam, Heritiera littoralis, Canarium euphyllum, Dipterocarpus griffithii, Hopea odorata, Barringtonia racemosa, Ficus retusa and Sideroxylon longipetiolatum are seen. Pandanus andamanensium and P. tectorius are common along the creeks. The swamp and marshes are covered with sedges and grasses. Coconut plantation has replaced the native vegetation in many places.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: As in all the IBAs in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, not much work has been done on birds in Kadakachang. The Andaman Crake Rallina canningi, a globally Threatened species is found here, but not much is known about its distribution. The subspecies of Grey Teal known as Andaman Teal Anas gibberifrons albogularis, endemic to the Andaman Islands, is found here (Vijayan and Sankaran 2000). This Teal is reported in flocks of tens and believed to breed in the marshes of Kadakachang. Vijayan and Sankaran (2000) estimate that its worldwide population is 500–600, making it one of the rarest taxa of the Anatidae in the world. Recently, Rasmussen and Anderton (in press) have upgraded Andaman Teal to species level and call it Anas albogularis. This makes it one of the rarest birds of India and the site extremely important for its survival. Of the 12 extant Restricted Range species noted by BirdLife International from the Endemic Bird Area of Andaman Islands (Stattersfield et al. 1998), 11 are found in this IBA. Most of them are quite common in suitable habitats. Only the Andaman Crake Rallina canningi is listed in the Threatened category, under Data Deficient. The remaining species are Near Threatened (BirdLife International 2001). Except for two species, Nicobar Scrubfowl or Megapode Megapodius nicobariensis, which is extinct from this Endemic Bird Area (EBA) and Narcondam Hornbill Aceros narcondami which is restricted to Narcondam Island, all other Restricted Range species of this EBA are found in Kadakachang. This shows the important role of this IBA in the conservation of endemic avifauna of Andaman Islands. Moreover, many endemic subspecies of birds (Abdulali 1964, Vijayan and Sankaran 2000) are also found in this IBA. The Beach Stone-plover Esacus recurvirostris, earlier considered a subspecies of Great Stone Plover E. magnirostris (Ali and Ripley 1987) is listed as Near Threatened by BirdLife International (2001). It has a wide distribution from Andaman Islands to Australia, but the range is linear along the narrow coasts. Its total population may be not more than 1,000 birds in Australia (Marchant and Higgins 1993, cited in BirdLife International 2001) but Ali and Ripley (1987) say that it is ‘recorded on almost every island…. Not in Nicobar’. It is very rare on and around Sumatra (BirdLife International 2001). This species is likely to be present on the extensive undisturbed beaches in this IBA, but no published record is available.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Not much is known about the mammalian and reptilian fauna of Kadakachang. The Andaman Water Monitor Varanus salvator andamanensis and Saltwater Crocodile Crocodylus porosus, widely distributed in the Andaman Islands, are found here, albeit in depleted numbers due to poaching. The Andaman Islands are well known for endemic species and subspecies of reptiles and amphibians, but there is little published information on this aspect of Kadakachang.

Key contributors: Ravi Sankaran and K. Sivakumar.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kadakachang (Katakatchang). Downloaded from on 04/02/2023.