Birding in RollapaduWildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh:
Grasslandecosystems are one of the finest ecosystems in the world which support very goodpopulations of birdsespecially the grasslands specialist.
Among such grasslandsecosystems inIndia, Rollapadu wildlife sanctuary is one of the finestgrasslands present inIndia. This sanctuary was formed in the year 1988especially to protect theEndangered bird The Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis
nigriceps) and also Lesser Florican (Sypheotidesindicus) which nests in this region.Topographyof
the sanctuary is gentle undulating plains with anelevation of 290m andvegetation is of Southern Tropical Thorn Forest type.Climate is mostly hot anddry for a period of more than 8 months with meanannual temperatures about28°C, maximum being 42°C and minimum
being 18°C.Average rainfall of the areais 450mm and usually it varies. It is open dry grassland with interspersed thornybushes. Theflora includes grasses like Arisitidafuniculata,
Chrysopogonfulvus, Heteropogan contortus, Sehima nervosum,Dicanthium pseudoischaemun andsmall tree species like Morinda sp, Pheonixspetc. Fauna includes
blackbuck, jackal, wolf, Indianfox, bonnet macaque,Indian bustard, Indian roller, sparrows, mynas and pipits,Russell's viper,Indian cobras etc.
Thesanctuary is bordered with the agriculturallands
cultivated with dry-landcrops like that of sun flower, tobacco andcotton. A small village namedRollapadu lies closely to the sanctuary. A mudroad passes through thesanctuary, which bisects the sanctuary; it is used fortransportation byvillagers to reach the
agricultural fields present on theother side of thesanctuary. A small man-made water body is maintained in thesanctuary to questthe thirst of wildlife. Alaganur reservoir is anotherman-made reservoirpresent adjacent to the sanctuary to store the rain water.This
is locatedthree km towards east of Rollapadu village. Prosopissp.covers the dry area during dry season.
Nearly132 species of birds were recorded which included the resident andmigrants(winter). The resident birds included a wide
range of them startingfrom smallsized warblers to the huge sized Shorttoed snake eagle. The talltrees interspersedprovided nesting for the large sized raptors like that ofEagles and the old abandonedwells acted as nesting sites for the Eurasian eagleowl. The
reservoir servedas a roosting and nesting place for many aquatic birdsincluding wintermigrants such as the Bar headed geese, demosille cranes,harriers etc. Shorteared owls roosted in scrubby areas. It is also doubted thatGreater Flamingo’suse this area as
passage route during their migration tosouthern parts ofIndia.
For check list of Birds, Plz mail me @ (Murali7murali@gmail.com)