Kokkare Bellur Community Reserve
Kokkare Bellur is one of the lesser known sites of Karnataka situated in Maddur taluk of Mandya district. This is the only known pelicanry of Karnataka. Though the bird habitat has not been declared as a bird sanctuary. It has attracted the attention of bird watchers, press and the visitors. Whatever little that has been known about the habitat, is from the new preliminary research articles (Nagulu & Rao 1982, Neginhal 1986, Sridhar 1992) and articles in some of the popular news papers and magazines. Every year Forest Department (Wildlife Wing) is paying incentives to the owners of the trees where the nesting activities exist. These trees are numbered and monitored by Range Forest Officer, Melukote Wildlife Range, Melukote.
Kokkare Bellur is one of the oldest known Pelicanry in the country and this is probably the Pelicanry which Jardon (1864) visited in the late 19th century. Birds have known to be breeding here from times immemorial. This is a traditional nesting site of Spot billed Pelicans (Pelecanus Philippensis) and Painted Storks (Mycteria leucocephala). These have been protected by villagers themselves. Shooting of birds or collection of eggs in the village is strictly prohibited.
Location & Extent
The area of the Kokkare bellur Community Reserve is 772 Acre and 09 Guntus. by Section 36 (C) (1) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act1972 (53 of 1972), the State Government hereby declares the entire area of the Kokkare Bellur village as a Community Reserve vide Government notification No : FEE 218/FWL/2007 Dated: 14-9-2007.
Here the birds nest on trees growing amidst houses and backyards. The terrain is dry arid, and here much of the cultivated area is under the mercy of seasonal monsoon. A total of 70 tanks of different sizes that are present within a radius of 30 Kms from the village form the feeding grounds of the birds that nest at Kokkare Bellur. Shimsha River, a tributary of river Cauvery flows about a Km west of the village which also forms a part of feeding grounds. All the tanks are man made, created well over a century back by building a bund across a low lying area to impound monsoon run-off. As a consequence, these tanks have a definite seasonal cycle wherein, they get filled up during monsoon and invariably go dry before the end of summer (Subramanya, 1990). Due to this the population of wading birds predominate during January onwards while, the birds that forage in deep waters have a greater population prior to January. The tanks like Gollaradoddi, Thailoor are major tanks where waders enjoy frequently. Gollaradoddi Tank is hardly 1 Km from nesting trees.
The village is surrounded by agricultural fields with finger millet, ground nut, tur, field bean, sugarcane and paddy (tank based) as the major crops in the area.
It falls within the dry region of Deccan plateau and the terrain is slightly undulating. The soil in the surrounding area is red sandy loam.