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Location India, Bihar
Central coordinates 86o 8.00' East  25o 37.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4iii
Area 6,311 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Kawar (Kabar) Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, also a Ramsar Site, is the largest freshwater lake in northern Bihar. It is a residual oxbow lake formed by the changing course of the River Gandak, a tributary of the Ganga. In years of average rainfall, the Kawar Lake joins with the nearby Nagri Lake, Bikrampur Chaur and Burhi Gandak, a tributary of the River Ganga, to form a lake of about 7,400 ha. By late summer, however, the water is confined to the deeper areas of only c. 200 to 300 ha. As the water level recedes, over 2,400 ha of the exposed mudflats are converted into paddy fields. There is a permanent island (Jaimanglagarh) of about 130 ha in the southeast corner of the lake. Kawar Lake experiences tropical monsoon climate typical of the middle Gangetic plain. The lake supports a rich and diverse aquatic flora. Submerged macrophytes include Hydrilla verticillata, Potamogeton crispus and Najas minor. Emergent macrophytes include Oryza sativa and Ipomea aquatica (Anon. 1993).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Indian Vulture Gyps indicus non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Sarus Crane Antigone antigone resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kabar Lake Sanctuary 6,311 is identical to site 6,311  

Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
Kawar/Kabar Lake Bird Sanctuary (Mandar Nature Club) 0


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   -
Shrubland   -
Wetlands (inland)   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
fisheries/aquaculture -
Notes: Fishing
rangeland/pastureland -
Notes: Grazing land
water management -
Notes: Irrigation; Water management

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Arvind Mishra, Ali Hussain and Mehboob Alam.


Anonymous (1993) Directory of Indian Wetlands, WWF-INDIA, New Delhi and AWB Kuala Lumpur, xvi + 264 pp; 32 maps.

Anonymous (2002) Bird Banders Training Programme Final Report, Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai, India.

BirdLife International (undated) Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Asia: Project briefing book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K., unpublished.

George, P. V. (1964) Notes on migrant birds in North Bihar, J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 61: 370-384 Shahi S.P. (1982) Bird massacre in Manjhaul. Hornbill 3: 17-22.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kawar (Kabar) Lake Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 15/09/2014

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