Fig: Habitat most suitable for Yellow-throated Bulbul

Fig: White-browed Bulbul

Adichunchanagiri Wildlife Sanctuary is named after famous piligrim centre Adichunchanagiri, situated closely. It is located In Bellur Hobli, Nagamangala Taluk, Mandya District. Sanctuary is a very small hilly area (0.84 Sq Km) strewn with huge boulders, dry deciduous scrub and southern thorn scrub. Sanctuary is surrounded by similar rocky hillocks spread over 6 Km by 8 Km. It looks, as if the sanctuary is in the core. The sanctuary is situated 112 Km away from Bangalore on Mangalore Highway via Nelamangala and 92 Km from Mysore on Hiriyur road via Nagamangala; the landmark being- Adichunchanagiri temple town.

Presence of vulnerable and south-Indian endemic bird species –Yellow throated Bulbul Pycnonotus xantholaemus (YTB) is instrumental in declaring the sanctuary as an Important Bird Area, IBA CODE: IN-KA-01 (Islam & Rahmani, 2005). This tiny sanctuary is the only one of its kind reserved for national bird –Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus in India (declared on 21.10.1981). One natural and two artificial water bodies (all are smaller ones) supports water need of pilgrims as well as wildlife. Besides, occasional streams’ appearing during good rainy days fulfils the need.

The habitat consists mainly of Alangium salvifolium, Albizia amara, Decalepis hamiltonii, Diospyros spp, Euphorbia antiquorum, Holarrhena antidysenterica, Kirganellia reticulate, Lantana camara, Sarcostemma acidum, Securinega leucopyrus, Tamarindus indica, Vitex altissima Ziziphus mauritiana and Ziziphus oenoplia. Eucalyptus plantation is distributed sparsely through-out the sanctuary.

YTBs’ sighting is considerably more in rocky-vegetative habitat atop Adichunchanagiri hill (near Chola kamba & Gadikallu) than the sanctuary. It seems the YTBs’ have adapted to the human population that throng temple town in large numbers throughout the year.

Agricultural encroachment clearing the thorn vegetation amid hillocks, extracting boulders/quarrying, building new roads between hillocks are the major causes of habitat degradation that would possibly harm the residual population of YTB in near future. Gradual decrease of vegetative cover in the Sanctuary, specially that supports the Bulbul’s foraging is leading to tough competition between the four varieties of Bulbul (Red-whiskered, Red-vented, White-browed & Yellow-throated) exists in the Sanctuary.

Relentlessly calling Indian Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus stentoreus was once recorded here during May in uphill thicket in contrast to its known habitat. Normally these migratory warblers disappear from reed-beds in April and re-appear in middle of October. However, there is one record of unsuccessful breeding of this bird in Lingambudhi Lake (Mysore) in the month of August.

Mandya sector checklist is inclusive of this Sanctuary

References and further reading:

  • Islam, M.Z. & A.R. Rahmani. 2005. Important Bird Areas in India: Priority sites for conservation. Mumbai: Indian Bird Conservation Network: Bombay Natural History Society and BirdLife International (UK). P 574.