Peechi - Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary

Country/territory: India

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

Area: 12,500 ha

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

Site description (2004 baseline)
The Peechi-Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary falls in Trichur district in Kerala, the talukas being Trichur and Thalapilly. The Sanctuary was formed in 1958 by combining some portions of Peechi, Pattikkad and Machad ranges of Trichur Forest Division. The Sanctuary includes parts of Paravattanimala Reserve, Machadmala Reserve and Bharanipachamala Reserve. Two dams are present within the Sanctuary with waterspread of 1,295 ha and 184.3 ha, respectively. The terrain is undulating, the altitude varies from 100 to 914 m, with the highest peak Ponmudi. The Sanctuary is contiguous with the Chimmony Wildlife Sanctuary (IBA) on the east and the forests of Palakkad on the north. But, the continuity of the Peechi Forest Range with the Vazhani side has been lost due to the Trichur-Palakkad national highway.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: In a survey conducted by the Nature Education Society, Trichur in 1991, 177 species of birds were identified from this IBA. Sri Lanka Frogmouth Batrachostomus moniliger, a restricted range species of the Western Ghats Endemic Bird Area (EBA) (Stattersfield et al. 1998), was recorded in a reed patch near Palakuzhi (Easa 1991, Nameer 2000). This nocturnal bird is generally found in dense jungle perched on a tree (Ali and Ripley 1987), looking like a piece of dead branch. Wynaad Laughingthrush Garrulax delesserti and Broad-tailed Grass-Warbler Schoenicola platyura, both endemic to the Western Ghats are also found here. The Broad-tailed Grass-Warbler is normally sighted above 900 m (Easa 1991). The sighting of this species at Palakuzhi, at less than 100 m, is a record. A nest of the Brown Flycatcher Muscicapa dauurica (=latirostris) was also recorded near Karadipara (Easa 1991). Although, not many globally threatened species are found in this site, except for the Broad-tailed Grass-Warbler, seven out of 16 restricted range or endemic species of the Western Ghats EBA are found here. More endemics are likely to occur here as the habitat is quite suitable and moreover, this site adjoins Chimmony where at least two endemics, Grey-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus priocephalus and White-bellied Blue Flycatcher Cyornis pallipes, are found that are not reported from this site. The site lies in Biome-10 (Indian Peninsula Tropical Moist Forest), where BirdLife International (undated) has listed 15 species that represent the biome-assemblage. Based on the checklist prepared by the Nature Education Society, seven species of this biome are found here. Probably more will be located once thorough investigation on the bird life is done. Interestingly, this IBA is an important wintering area for many subtropical and temperate birds of the Himalaya such as Largecrowned Leaf Warbler Phylloscopus occipitalis, Rufous-tailed Flycatcher Muscicapa ruficauda, Blue-headed Rock-thrush Monticola cinclorhynchus, Pied Thrush Zoothera wardii and Brown-breasted Flycatcher Muscicapa muttui. Sixteen species of Biome-11 (Indo-Malayan Tropical Dry Zone) are also found here, but most of them are widespread and common. Many species of this biome have adapted to man-modified habitats, and some have changed their distribution so much that they may not be confined to Biome-11 only (BirdLife International, undated).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Among the primates, Bonnet Macaque Macaca radiata, Nilgiri Langur Trachypithecus johni and Slender Loris Loris lydekkerianus are very often observed in the evergreen, semievergreen and moist deciduous areas of the Sanctuary. The Tiger Panthera tigris, Leopard P. pardus and Jungle Cat Felis chaus are among the felines present in the Sanctuary. The Canids are represented by Indian Wild Dog Cuon alpinus and Golden Jackal Canis aureus. The Bovids present are the Gaur Bos gaurus and Nilgiri Tahr Hemitragus hylocrius. The Cervids include Chital Axis axis, Sambar Cervus unicolor and Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak. The Asian Elephant Elephas maximus is also found, though not in good numbers. The Giant Squirrel Ratufa indica is common in dense canopy forests.

Peechi-Vazhani is important for many endemic reptiles of the Western Ghats. Bhupathy and Choudhary (1995) have recorded the Travancore Tortoise Indotestudo forstenii. Thomas and Easa (1997) recorded thirty-one species of reptiles from Peechi area.

Of these, the Travancore Tortoise, Gliding Lizard Draco dussumieri, Forest Calotes Calotes rouxi, C. elliotti, Dwarf Gecko Cnemaspis waynadensis, and Ristella beddomii are endemic to the Western Ghats.

Key contributors: P. S. Easa and P. O. Nameer..

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Peechi - Vazhani Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 26/09/2023.