Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary

Country/territory: India

IBA Criteria met: A1, A4i (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 38 ha

Protection status:

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

Site description
The Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary is located in the Sivagangai district, although its administration is under the authority of Ramanad district. The sanctuary is about 2 km from Solasakarakottai village, about 10 km from Tirupattur and about 51 km from Madurai on Madurai-Melun-Tirupattur road. The Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary (38.4 ha) consists of three freshwater tanks: Periyakollukudikanmai (13.5 ha), Chinnakollukudi-kanmai (6.2 ha) and Vettangudi-kanmai (18.2 ha). All three tanks are in the vicinity of villages and were together declared as a sanctuary in 1997. The Sanctuary receives its major rainfall from the northeast monsoon, with 330-390 mm precipitation between October and December. The southwest monsoon also brings some showers between June and September, with a maximum rainfall of 300 mm. Thus, from June to December, rainwater helps to sustain the breeding birds at Vettangudi. Besides this, Vaigai, the major river of the district, and surrounding paddyfields also provide foraging grounds. The area surrounding the wetland has been invaded by Prosopis chilensis, which was introduced a few decades ago. Acacia nilotica trees grow in the lake and remain submerged for a few months. On the bunds, large Tamarindus indica, Azadirachta indica and Mangifera indica trees are present which provide roosting sites for birds.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: This site was selected as an IBA due to the large breeding colony of up to 5,000 birds. More than 250 nests of Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans have been seen. The 1% threshold of Oriental White Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus is 100 (Wetlands International 2002). In Vettangudi, up to 250 birds are found. Similarly, the Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus is also found above 1% threshold of its total biogeographic population (Wetlands International, 2002). Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger and Indian Shag Phalacrocorax fuscicollis also breed here. Waterfowl such as the Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha, Northern Shoveller A. clypeata and Common Teal A. crecca also congregate at Vettangudi. Darter Anhinga rufa, and Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia are also seen in small numbers. The Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis appears in Vettangudi to feast on the abundant fish life, depending upon water conditions (Manakadan and Kannan 2003).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: All the three tanks harbour fish species such as Ambasis urotaenia, Channa punctatus, Ophiocephalus sp. and Mystus tenegra. Some of these fish are the major prey component for pelicans, storks and cormorants.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 11/12/2019.