Karanji Tank

Country/territory: India

IBA Criteria met: A1, A4i (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 65 ha

Protection status:

Bombay Natural History Society
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2013 very high near favourable low
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
This tranquil lake is located within Mysore city and is home to a bustling colony of cormorants, storks, pelicans and ibises. The lake is under the jurisdiction of the Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens of Mysore. It has many islands, which are covered by Barringtonia acutangula, Acacia nilotica and Acacia auriculiformis, which provide excellent tree cover and nesting sites for birds. A butterfly park is also planned in the premises. The important marsh flora includes Nymphaea stellata, Rotala leptopetala, Lindernia parviflora, Bergia ammanioides, Ludwigia perennis, Typha angustata and Najas graminea. The tree species of the surrounding environs include Acacia sp., Cassia spp., Albizzia lebbeck, Bauhinia sp. and Wrightia tinctoria.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: The Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis is regularly seen here, with a maximum number of 230 birds observed. BirdLife International (2001) has listed it as Vulnerable mainly because its small population continues to decline, although at a reduced rate, as a result of widespread degradation and exploitation of wetlands. The Spot-billed Pelican used to breed in these islands until 1996 when floodwaters breached the bund and left the lake dry. The pelicans resumed breeding in November 2002, with 33 nests recorded. It has also been recorded nesting at this site again in 2003-04. Three species of cormorants (Little Phalacrocorax niger, Median P. fuscicollis and Great P. carbo) and Darter Anhinga melanogaster breed here along with the nesting pelicans. Painted Storks also form a significant section (30%) of the colony. Over 700 Oriental White or Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus breed here in the monsoon. According to Wetlands International (2002), the 1% population of this species in South Asia is only 100, so this site holds a significant number of this Near Threatened species. Once the lake is restored, it is likely that the birds will be seen in their former numbers and variety. At present, entry to the general public is barred. There are many Biome-11 species, but none of them are presently of much conservation concern. This site has been selected as an IBA because significant numbers of Vulnerable Spot-billed Pelican, and Near Threatened Blackheaded Ibis breed here. It also has potential to attract many more species in larger numbers in the future.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: As the tank is inside Mysore town, no large mammal is found here. Commercial fish, including the introduced Tilapia, are farmed here.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Karanji Tank. Downloaded from on 12/12/2019.