Year of compilation: 2004
AVIFAUNA: Taloda forest range is one of the refuges of the highly endangered and endemic Forest Owlet Heteroglaux blewitti. This bird is listed as Critically Endangered by BirdLife International (2001). The species was thought to be extinct, until its rediscovery in 1997 by King and Rasmussen (1998). Later during a BNHS study on the Forest Owlet, three pairs were recorded here in 2000 (Ishtiaq and Rahmani 2000). In the past, James Davidson had collected four specimens of Forest Owlet from Taloda tehsil (Davidson 1881). Taloda is one of the few sites in India that come under the Secondary Area category of BirdLife International. Secondary area is an area which supports one or more Restricted Range species, but does not qualify as an Endemic Bird Area because the number of species entirely confined to it is less than two. The globally threatened Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga is also found here in winter. Taloda is one of the few sites where three Critically Endangered species are found.
OTHER KEY FAUNA: The mammalian fauna of the Reserve Forest includes Leopard Panthera pardus, Four-horned Antelope Tetracerus quadricornis, Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak, Sloth Bear Melursus ursinus, Jungle Cat Felis chaus, Common Langur Semnopithecus entellus, and the Rufous-tailed Hare Lepus nigricollis ruficaudatus.
The major threat for the Forest Owlet is habitat degradation and destruction. In 2000, about 5,000 ha of plain forest area near the Forest Owlet site was cleared to rehabilitate displaced persons from the Sardar Sarovar Project. About 500 families now live in this area and use the forest resources that add to the burden on the rapidly disappearing habitat of the Forest Owlet (Ishtiaq 2000). The tribals hunt owls and destroy their nests due to superstitious beliefs.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Taloda Reserve Forest. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/02/2023.