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Rollapadu bird Sanctuary

Rollapadu Bird (Wildlife) Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary in the Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh, India. Known primarily as a habitat of the great Indian bustard.

The sanctuary is close to the state’s border with Karnataka and is 45 km from the district headquarters of Kurnool. Covering an area of 6.14 km2, it was established in 1988 to protect the great Indian bustard and the lesser florican and remains the only habitat in Andhra Pradesh for the bustard which is a critically endangered species. The sanctuary is mostly an undulating plain with hot, dry climatic conditions and erratic and uneven rainfall. It has an average elevation of 290 metres and receives about 450 mm of rainfall annually.

Rollapadu is primarily a grassland ecosystem with mixed forests and thorny bushes. Cotton, tobacco and sunflower are cultivated in the agricultural lands that border the sanctuary.

Rollapadu sanctuary is home to a varied set of faunal and avifaunal species. Foxes, jackals, bonnet macaques, jungle cats, sloth bears and black bucks have been reported at the sanctuary as also the Russell’s viper and Indian cobra. It also houses 132 bird species with the Alganur reservoir near the sanctuary frequented annually by migratory species. Some of the bird species spotted at Rollapadu besides the bustard and the florican include Indian rollers, several myna species, short-toed snake eagles and winter migrant waterfowl such as barheaded geese, demoiselle cranes and greater flamingos.

An increase in the blackbuck population at the sanctuary has been postulated as one of the reasons for the fall in numbers of the bustard and the florican there. Their feeding on the grasses has in turn led to a fall in the numbers of grasshoppers and locusts that constitute an important source of food for the two bird species besides also reducing the nesting area available to these ground nesting birds.

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