Pedullapulle Village

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 Location Ecosystem Type   Conservation Type   Area(hectare) Legal status 
 Cuddappah, Andhra Pradesh Mixed Species Protection Not Available Not Available

Case Study (2009)

Background

Pedullapalle village is located in B. Kodur Mandal of Cuddappah district of Andhra Pradesh. The forest type is mixed deciduous and the vegetation includes red sandalwood (endemic), axlewood, East Indian satinwood, anjana, shisum, white gulmohar, etc. The river Pennar flows about 40 kilometres south from this village where the Lankamala ranges meet the Palakonda- Seshachalam ranges of the Eastern Ghats. This place receives an annual rainfall of 600 mm and the temperature in the summer months shoots up to an oppressive 45°C.

There are diverse fauna species such as macaques, Hanuman langurs, sloth bears, leopards, jungle cats, wild boar, sambar, spotted deer, blackbucks and even an occasional tiger. The Jerdon’s courser that was thought to be extinct was rediscovered in this area, subsequent to which the Lankamalleswara Wildlife Sanctuary was declared as a measure for its protection. The avifauna of this area includes partridges, quails, grey junglefowl, Indian peafowl and migratory waterfowl like snipes, teals, northern pintails, spotbill ducks, Northern shovellers, garganeys, etc.

Although the village is surrounded by wildlife as mentioned above the actual protection efforts have been focused within the village. Peddulapalle village is situated 34 km north of Lankamalleswara Wildlife Sanctuary. While villagers protect the birds and do not harm the roosting sites (as they believe the birds bring good rains), they do not have any existing system of wildlife protection outside the village.

This village has played host to a number of avian visitors such as painted storks, black-headed ibis, Indian coromorants and great coromorants in the trees of the village for over a century. These birds arrive here during the months of November-December. The communities have made successful protection efforts for these birds for generations, as they believe that they are harbingers of prosperity and a good agricultural yield.

Immature storks and white ibises are often seen resting on haystacks and rooftops of the village during the nesting period. According to the villagers, earlier a large number of pelicans, storks and ibises were also nesting in the village but they have stopped visiting this area since 1998 for reasons unknown. Other local birds like egrets and heronsare spotted building their nests, placed under those of storks and getting their food supply from the fish that drop from the upper tier.

The major feeding ground for these birds is the Badvel tank that is located around 3 km from the village. This tank is fed by the Sagileru and Vankamarri reservoirs. Though fish form a major part of the diet of these birds, they have also been observed feeding crustaceans and molluscs to their young ones.

The villagers have observed a decreasing number of the avian visitors that come to the village for breeding and nesting purposes. The villagers attribute this decrease due to lack of nesting space for these birds. At present there are 23 tree species, including tamarind, Delonix elata, karanj, banyan and shirish, placed in the heart of the village. Although there are many trees around the village, the birds seem to prefer nesting in the heart of the village itself.

Some of the threats to the birds are:

1. During the time of the north-east monsoon, particularly during heavy rains, many young ones fall from their nests, and despite various attempts made by the villagers to save them, very few of them survive.

2. The local Yerikala tribe hunts the birds with nets and guns at the Badvel tank and occasionally even try to poach the birds in the village. However they have been driven away by the villagers several times.

3. Pisciculture is being encouraged by the Government as a means of revenue generation from auctioning the tanks, and this seems to pose a threat to the birds due to lack of food required for breeding.

4. There is a lack of nesting space for the birds on the trees in the village. This is because the birds occupy most of the big trees in the village, and once the birds roost the tree canopy reduces due to the guano/bird excreta, the acidic content of which reduces the canopy cover. Local people informed that the number of trees has also reduced in the last few years.

 This case study has been contributed by Suresh Jones and Dr Subba Rao, Foundation for Ecological Security, Andhra Pradesh in July 2002. 

Team Leader,
Foundation for Ecological Security
AP Project
17-89-1, NVR Layout, Gandhi Road
Madanapalle - 517325
Chittoor district
Andhra Pradesh
E-mail: [email protected]

This case study was part of the Directory on Community Conserved Areas (2009), published by Kalpavriksh. The directory can be downloaded here.

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