Kunthur - Kallur Lakes

Country/territory: India

IBA criteria met: A1, A4i, A4iii (2004)
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Area: 460 ha

Bombay Natural History Society
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2013 favourable low negligible
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Site description (2004 baseline)
These two lakes are situated about half a kilometre apart on the newly formed National Highway 209, 20 km from Kollegal town in Chamarajanagar district of southern Karnataka. The Kunthur Lake is overgrown with water lily, Typha and Ipomea carnea while Kallur Lake is relatively free of emergent vegetation, but has good underwater vegetation. The Typha reedbeds in Kunthur attract bitterns and crakes, while the waters of Kallur regularly support the Near Threatened Blackbellied Tern Sterna acuticauda. Kunthur also attracts huge flocks of the Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus, up to 2,500 on one occasion, and rare visitors like the Caspian Tern Sterna caspia and White-winged Tern Chlidonias leucopterus have been seen (T. Shivanand, unpublished). The importance of the lakes as a wintering ground to the Near Threatened Black-bellied Tern cannot be stressed enough, as they are very close to a substantial breeding colony of the species at Talakad on the banks of the Kaveri river, a few kilometres north of the lakes (T. Shivanand in litt. 2003).

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: The site is important for congregations of winter migrants, especially ducks and waders. Over the past twelve years, the lakes have recorded very large congregations of migratory ducks and waders, often crossing the 20,000 mark. In the past three years, the number of birds recorded crossed 35,000 and touched 55,000 in the year 2000. Thresholds for 1% biogeographic population of species were crossed by Garganey (total 16,900, threshold 2,500), Comb Duck (total 65, threshold 60), and Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa (total 6200, threshold 1,000). The 1% biogeographic population threshold information is taken from Wetlands International (2002). Ducks such as the Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea and Comb Duck Sarkidiornis melanotos prefer the Kunthur, while others such as Garganey Anas querquedula, Northern Pintail A. acuta and Wigeon A. penelope favour Kallur Lake. These waterbodies are also the winter home of 2 to 3 individuals of the globally threatened Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: No information.

Key contributors: Thejaswi Shivanand and A. Shivaprakash.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Kunthur - Kallur Lakes. Downloaded from on 07/12/2023.