Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary

Country/territory: India

IBA Criteria met: A1, A4ii (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 614 ha

Bombay Natural History Society
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2003 high not assessed not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
Rollapadu is a small village, 18 km southeast of Nandikotkur town, in the plains between the Nallamalai and Erramalai ranges of the Eastern Ghats. The River Krishna flows northwest of Nandikotkur. Rollapadu shot to fame in July 1984 when a flock of 35 Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps was discovered (Manakadan and Rahmani 1989, 1993). Recommendations were made by the Endangered Species Project of the Bombay Natural History Society to the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department to establish a sanctuary. Soon after, the State Forest Department declared the Rollapadu Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary. The Sanctuary, though established primarily to protect the Great Indian Bustard, has benefited the rest of the wildlife in the area. Prior to its establishment, the animals were persecuted by professional trappers and hunters from nearby towns and villages (Manakadan and Rahmani 1989). Most of the Sanctuary is covered by grasses. Shrubs and small trees are common near the two small streams that flow within the Sanctuary.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: In the 1980s, there were about 60-70 bustards in and around Rollapadu and the Sanctuary was developing very well, but due to subsequent mismanagement of the grasslands, and poaching of bustards during their movement away from Rollapadu, the bustard population has come down drastically. Not more than 20-25 birds remain. Large flocks of 15-20 birds are rarely sighted now. Another globally threatened species that is now regularly seen is the Lesser Florican Sypheotides indica (Sankaran and Manakadan 1990, Manakadan and Rahmani 1999). About 150 bird species are reported in and around Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary, including the second largest roost of harriers (Circus spp.) in India (Rahmani and Manakadan 1986). Nearly 2,000 harriers of four species are found in the grasslands (Circus pygargus, C. macrourus, C. aeruginosus and C. melanoleucos). This site can easily qualify for A4ii criteria (known or thought to hold, on a regular basis, >1% of the global population of a congregatory seabird or terrestrial species).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: The most conspicuous mammal, which has benefited most from protection, is the Blackbuck Antilope cervicapra. In 1985, its population was not more than 17 individuals. Now, it has gone up to 500 (Forest Department records, and our observations). A pack of Grey Wolf Canis lupus inhabits the Rollapadu grasslands. Indian Fox Vulpes bengalensis is also found, and shows great fluctuations in population.

Key contributors: A. R. Rahmani, Ranjit Manakadan and Thulsi Rao.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Rollapadu Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 27/09/2022.