Srivilliputhur Wildlife Sanctuary

Country/territory: India

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

Area: 48,520 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)
Srivilliputtur Grizzled Giant Squirrel Wild Sanctuary is located about 40 km south of Madurai, north of Sivagiri Hills. Its southwestern boundary abuts Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala. The terrain is mostly undulating with high grassy and barren rocky peaks, while the slopes and deep valleys have very dense vegetation. Srivilliputur receives the major part of its annual rainfall from the northeast monsoon from October to November. It also receives heavy rain from the southwest monsoon. The vegetation of the Sanctuary consists of Tropical Dry Deciduous Forest, Tropical Moist Forest, and Tropical Thorn Forest. The Tropical Dry Deciduous Forest dominates in the eastern and lower altitude slopes. It is also an important habitat for the Grizzled Giant squirrel Ratufa macrura dandolena. The higher areas have Tropical Moist Deciduous Forest and Wet Evergreen Forests. The eastern lowlands have Tropical Thorn Forest.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: About 220 bird species have been recorded in this area, which includes 14 of the 16 restricted range and endemic species found in the Western Ghats (J. Joshua pers. comm. 2003). There is a clear evidence of change in species composition according to change in altitude and habitat. The valleys with Moist Deciduous, Semi-evergreen and Evergreen forests on the slopes are home to the Small Sunbird Nectarinia minima, White-bellied Treepie Dendrocitta leucogastra, White-bellied Blue Flycatcher Cyornis pallipes and many endemic species, that still exist in good numbers. The Nilgiri Wood-Pigeon Columba elphinstonii is also frequently sighted in this area. The raptors are well represented, with more than 14 species including the Critically Endangered Oriental White-bellied Vulture Gyps bengalensis and Long-billed Vulture G. indicus. Another raptor, the Rufousbellied Hawk Eagle Hieraaetus kienerii, also exists in this area. Three hornbill species, the Great Pied Hornbill Buceros bicornis, Malabar Pied-hornbill Anthracoceros coronatus and Malabar Grey Hornbill Ocyceros griseus can be sighted frequently.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: The Grizzled Giant Squirrel Ratufa macroura dandolena is the most famous mammal of Srivilliputtur Sanctuary. It is endemic to the southern Western Ghats and Sri Lanka (Prater 1990). This Sanctuary has a viable breeding population of this rare animal.

The other threatened mammals found here are Indian Giant Squirrel Ratufa indica indica, Slender Loris Loris tardigradus, Nilgiri Langur Trachypithecus johni, Lion-tailed Macaque Macaca silenus, Nilgiri Marten Martes gwatkinsi, Nilgiri Tahr Hemitragus hylocrius, Asiatic Elephant Elephas maximus, Gaur Bos frontalis and Indian Wild Dog Cuon alpinus.

Nineteen species of reptiles were recorded during a study conducted by the World Wide Fund for Nature-India (Bhupathy and Kannan 2002). The following three species are endemic to the Western Ghats: Draco or Gliding Lizard Draco dussumieri, Large-scaled Calotes Calotes grandisquamis and Southern Green Calotes C. calotes (Malhotra and Davis 1991).

Key contributor: Justus Joshua.

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