Kulahupuzha Reserved Forest

Country/territory: India

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

Area: 21,900 ha

Bombay Natural History Society
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2003 not assessed low not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (2004 baseline)
The Kulathupuzha Reserve forest lies between Chenduruni Wildlife Sanctuary and Agasthyarkoodam (Ponmudi hills). The IBA lies in two revenue districts namely Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram. The nearest railway station is Kollam, about 70 km away from Kulathupuzha town. The area is connected by Thiruvananthapuram Shenkottah road and Kollam Kulathupuzha road. Kulathupuzha Reserve Forest and adjoining ranges of plantations (Teak) and mixed forests (Evergreen, Semi-evergreen and Moist Deciduous Forests) host a good floral and faunal diversity. Anacolosa densiflora, Artocarpus heterophyllus, Alianthus malabarica, Artocarpus hirsuta, Calophyllum elatum, Canarium strictum and Gluta travancorica are the interesting tree species of this IBA site. Thick reed brakes cover long stretches on the southwestern slopes of Pandimottai, including Pongumala, in Kulathupuzha Range. The unique Myristica swamp forest is found at Vencolla, Amakkulam and Sasthamnada region. This type of forest is seen in tropical evergreen forests below 300 m especially along the bottom of the valley, which is subject to inundation throughout the year due to heavy rainfall. The whole valley floor is often covered with protruding roots of Myristica. Kulathupuzha river catchment area bears some of the most pristine forests now existing in the state.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: A total of 215 species of birds was recorded by P. Manoj in 2001- 2002. More than 20% of the total species are migrants, while the rest are local migrants and residents. The globally threatened Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon Columba elphinstonii occurs in this site, especially in Pandimotta region. Kulathupuzha lies in the Western Ghats Endemic Bird Area, where Stattersfield et al. (1998) have identified 16 Restricted Range or endemic species. Of these, 12 endemic species have been recorded in this site, which shows that the natural forest cover is still intact.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Kulathupuzha Reserve Forest has most of the representative mammals found in the Western Ghats, including the endemic Nilgiri Langur Trachypithecus johni. Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, Guar Bos frontalis, Sambar Cervus unicolor, Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak, Tiger Panthera tigris, Leopard P. pardus and Sloth Bear Melursus ursinus are known to occur. The Wild Dog Cuon alpinus is likely to occur.

Key contributor: P. Manoj.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Kulahupuzha Reserved Forest. Downloaded from on 26/09/2023.