|Central coordinates||90o 36.00' East 26o 5.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4iii|
|Year of IBA assessment||2004|
Site description Urpod Beel is the largest lake in western Assam, comprising a waterspread of c. 700 ha. It is only 12 km from Goalpara town, the district headquarters. It is approximately 150 km from the State capital, Guwahati. Urpod is an important site for wintering waterfowl. It is connected with two more waterbodies, Patakata and Matia beels to the east, which makes the total area of the wetland more than 1,000 ha. The Ajagar Hill Reserve Forest to the south, Rakhashini RF to the north and Sagunbahi RF to the west surrounds Urpod beel. These RF are mainly degraded Sal Shorea robusta forests, except for Ajagar RF, the largest reserve forest of Goalpara district, which is Mixed Deciduous type and adjacent to the West Garo Hills district of Meghalaya. It is in comparatively good condition. The Urpod beel is well known for lotus Nelumbo, lilies Nymphea, as well as Trapa spp. and Euryale ferox. Villagers harvest them for food and medicine. In shallow zones, sedges and reeds abound. Ipomea aquatica has covered a large part of the water body, almost acquiring weed proportions.
AVIFAUNA: Like most other wetlands of Assam, Urpod beel is under tremendous human pressure. Despite this, very large numbers of waterfowl are present in winter. If it were adequately protected from human disturbance, it could attract hundreds of thousands of waterfowl. The IBA easily qualifies for the Ramsar criteria of a wetland of international importance. The Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus is regularly seen. There are no recent records of Greater Adjutant L. dubius, but with protection to the habitat, it could reappear.
OTHER KEY FAUNA: The wetland is surrounded by degraded forest where the Asian Elephant Elephas maximus is still seen. There are confirmed records of Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis. Probably, other predators also occur. The wetland is enriched with more than 45 species of fish, such as carps, climbing perch (Anabas) and catfishes.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus||resident||2004||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis||non-breeding||2004||present||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris||non-breeding||2004||present||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||unknown||2004||20,000 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|2003||high||not assessed||not assessed|
|Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data|
|Agriculture and aquaculture||annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||very rapid to severe deterioration||low|
|Agriculture and aquaculture||livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||slow but significant deterioration||low|
|Biological resource use||fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Pollution||agricultural & forestry effluents - soil erosion, sedimentation||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Residential and commercial development||commercial and industrial development||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||slow but significant deterioration||low|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Acknowledgements Key contributor: Nature’s Foster.
Anonymous (2002) Preliminary survey report on Urpod beel of Goalpara district, Assam. Nature’s Foster, Bongaigaon. Unpublished report.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Urpod Beel. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/09/2015
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