Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary

Country/territory: India

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

Area: 10,292 ha

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

Site description (2004 baseline)
The Pushpagiri Sanctuary, situated in the Western Ghats, is covered with thick evergreen and semi-evergreen forests and sholagrassland habitat. The imposing Kumaraparvata Peak forms the core of the Sanctuary, with dense sholas on the upper reaches and evergreen forests lower down. The steep terrain of the Sanctuary has created some impressive waterfalls along the various streams that originate in these mountains. Due to its relative inaccessibility, the Sanctuary has remained quite untouched. By road it could be approached from Mysore to Mercara (120 km), and on to the Sanctuary (25 km). To the north and the west, the Sanctuary merges with the equally spectacular rainforests of Bisle (Sakleshpur Sub-division) and Kukke Subramanya of Mangalore Division. It is contiguous with the Sampaje Reserve Forest to the south. Together, these forests are home to an extremely rich floral and faunal diversity. Most of it, particularly toads and frogs, are yet to be recorded. The 1,800 m Kumar Parvata and Pushpagiri Peaks in the Sanctuary are among the most challenging treks in Karnataka. The Sanctuary gives rise to Kumaradhara, probably the only undammed river in Karnataka, still unpolluted and natural, till it gushes out from these evergreen forests near the temple town of Kukke Subramanya. The Sanctuary has mostly evergreen and semi-evergreen forests. Rhododendrons are also found in the sholas (Manjrekar 2000).

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: The bird life has not been systematically studied, but T. Shivanand’s observations (pers. comm. 2001) indicate the presence of some 110 species. This IBA lies in the Western Ghats Endemic Bird Area (EBA) (Stattersfield et al. 1998). Of the 16 restricted range species identified from this EBA, 12 are found here, proving the importance of this site. This list also includes one globally Vulnerable species, the Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon Columba elphinstonii. BirdLife International (undated) has listed 15 biome restricted species under Indian Peninsula Tropical Moist Forest (Biome-10), of which 12 species have been found in this IBA site. It is likely that with better surveys, the remaining three species (Small Greenbilled Malkoha Phaenicophaeus viridirostris, Hill Swallow Hirundo domicola and Loten’s Sunbird Nectarinia lotenia) would also be found. This site was selected as an IBA due to the presence of one globally threatened and many restricted range and biome species.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: This IBA is rich in mammalian diversity. Almost all the larger mammals of the Western Ghats are found here, from the Asian Elephant Elephas maximus to Brown Palm Civet Paradoxurus jerdoni. Three species of primates are present: Common Langur Semnopithecus entellus, the endemic and highly endangered Liontailed Macaque Macaca silenus and the more common Bonnet Macaque Macaca radiata. Among the carnivores are Tiger Panthera tigris, Leopard P. pardus, Wild Dog Cuon alpinus, Jungle Cat Felis chaus and Sloth Bear Melursus ursinus. Large herbivores include the Gaur Bos frontalis, Sambar Cervus unicolor, Chital Axis axis, Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak and Wild Boar Sus scrofa. Mouse Deer Moschiola meminna is also reported from this Sanctuary. The Nilgiri Marten Martes gwatkinsi and Clawless Otter Amblonyx cinereus are also reported. Reptiles include the Western Ghats Gliding Lizard Draco dussumieri, King Cobra Ophiophagus hannah and Bamboo Pit Viper Trimeresurus gramineus.

Key contributors: Thejaswi Shivanand and Ameen Ahmed.

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