Annual survey records 15 new species in the Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary

Indian Blue Robin : Dr Anoop R

Thenmala: The recently held annual faunal survey of Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary that stretch for a distance 171 sq. km ended on February 27. It was led by Trivandrum based Travancore Natural History Society (TNHS) in collaboration with the Kerala Forest and Wildlife Department and NGOs from the southern states like BBC Bangalore, ROAR Rajapalayam and Vanam Theni.

A total of 153 species of birds were recorded in 3 days. This included the addition of 6 species which were hitherto unrecorded inside the sanctuary, namely– Steppe Eagle, Steppe Buzzard, Bourdillon’s Black Bird, Ashambu Sholakili, Indian Blue Robin and Blyth’s Pipit.

The state bird The Great Indian Hornbill was recorded in almost all the basecamps. Nesting of Lesser Fish eagle and Square tailed Bulbul were also interesting finds. Other notable records were the Ceylon Frogmouth, Legge’s Hawk Eagle, Great eared Nightjar and Eurasian Sparrow-hawk.

Elattoneura tetrica : Vinayan P Nair

With the 7 additions the total number of species recorded in TNHS led surveys in the sanctuary has risen to 255 species.

The butterfly assessment revealed a total of 191 species. Four species namely The Clear Sailor, Common Ciliate blue, White Orange tip and the Small Cupid were additions to the sanctuary checklist, thus making the current checklist for the sanctuary to 270 species.

Neptis nata : Dr Kalesh S

Other records were the Southern Birdwing, Travancore Evening Brown, Southern Duffer, Banded Royal, Plain Palm Dart and Spot Puffins.

Common Albatross : Shaheer Babu

The whole sanctuary was teaming with migrations of Common Albatross, Lesser Albatross and Plain puffins. The Grass jewel, the smallest Indian Butterfly was also observed.

Ciliate Blue :Shaheer Babu

The volunteers also recorded Dragonflies and Damselflies from the region. A total of 64 species were observed in the survey even in this dry bout and it included 5 additions, namely–Anaciaeschna martini-Montane Dusk-Hawker, Anax guttatus-Blue tailed Green Darner, Indothemis carnatica-Black Scrub-glider, Elattoneura tetrica- Blue Striped Threadtail, and Zyxomma petiolatum-Brown Dusk-Hawk. The total number of species of odonates in Shendurney hence rises to 94 species. Other interesting observations are Macromia irata, Gomphidia kodaguensis, Epopthalmia vittata, Aciagrion approximans, Calocypha laidlawii, and Orthetrum triangulare.

Indothemis carnatica : Vinayan P Nair

The survey also recorded presence of good number of Elephants, gaurs, tigers and smaller mammals like the endemic Nilgiri striped squirrel. ‘Birds, Butterflies, Odonates and other fauna were observed and added to the inventory created for the sanctuary over the last 10 years, for the Management Plan which is being revised’ said Mr. B. Sajeevkumar Wildlife Warden.


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