Dry rolling grasslands of Rollapadu lie between the Nallamalai and Yerramalai hill ranges of the Eastern Ghats. RWS owes its genesis to the discovery of the endangered Great Indian Bustard (GIB) in its grasslands in 1982. The Forest Department took immediate measures to protect the species, including the setting up of safe and livestock free grassland enclosures for the GIB, which benefited other wildlife too.
At Rollapadu, even the local people are encouraged to inform any or sightings of GIB or their eggs. The role of locals in protecting this endangered bird in its grassland home is worth mentioning.
The only GIB Sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh.
GIB, Bengal florican, Wolf.
Open grassland interspersed with throny bushes.
The climate is generally hot and dry with maximum temperatures rising up to 45Â° C during May and drops down to 18Â° C in December.
About 32 species of grassed like Aristida funiculata, Chrysopogon fulvus, Heteropogon contortus, etc; comprise the major flora of the grassland. Also seen are plants like Cassia fistula (Golden shower tree), Butea monosperma (Flame of the forest), Acacia spp, Ziziphus mauritiana, etc. The grassland sports a bare and dry look by the month of May and again turns lush green with grass growing up to 1 meter in height during the rainy season.
The grassland Sanctuary is rich in invertebrate fauna particularly the insects that form a major part of the diet of most of the birds. The reptilian life too is wonderful with about 19 species like large Land monitor lizards, Geckos, Skinks, Saw-scaled viper; etc. So far about 6 species of amphibians have been recorded here. RWS is a home to some of the rarest bird species of the world. There are about 124 bird species like the Lesser florican, Demoiselle crane, Black stork, White stork, Harriers, etc; which share the grassland along with Great Indian Bustard. These plains are also a home to endangered mammals like the Golden jackal, Indian wolf, Black buck, Chinkara; etc.