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Common Name : Black-tailed Godwit     -       Scientific Name : Limosa limosa       -       Other Name : Pendakalu Mahawatuwa (S)
Kali Villu
Kali Villu
Kali Villu
Panikkar Villu

This is a common migrant found throughout the dry coastal areas and close to water bodies in the dry lowlands. It is occasionally reported from the wet zone marshlands as well. This species breeds from Iceland through Europe to central Asia.

Three subspecies have been recognized.

  • European Black-tailed Godwit L. limosa limosa, which breeds from western and central Europe to central Asia and Asiatic Russia.
  • Asian Black-tailed Godwit L. limosa melanuroides, which breeds in Mongolia, northern China, Siberia and far eastern Russia.
  • Icelandic Black-tailed Godwit L.limosa icelandica, which breeds in Iceland and the nearby islands 

The subspecies that is commonly found in Sri Lanka is the European Black-tailed Godwit. The Asian Black-tailed Godwit has also been reported on a few occasions but it is regarded as a very rare migrant.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Near Threatened” (IUCN Red List) and it is a species protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

On the west coast, I have seen this species during the migrant season in Chilaw and their numbers gradually increase towards Mannar and Jaffna Peninsular where it is very common. They occur in good numbers along the east coast to the south. They are common at Kalametiya. I have also seen small numbers of them at the inland water bodies in the north-central province. I have occasionally seen this species in the wetlands of Attidiya, Thalangama and the Kotte.  However they are rarely seen in the wet zone.  

In Wilpattu this species is common during the migrant season at most water bodies including Mahapatessa, Panikkar Villu, Kali Villu and Borupan Wila.