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Location India, Bihar
Central coordinates 85o 42.00' East  25o 28.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 1,000 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Mokama Taal wetlands cover more than 1,000 ha of shallow waterbodies, situated in Patna, Samastipur and Begusarai districts of Bihar. They lie about 75 km of Patna city towards the southern bank of the River Ganga, which drains the wetland. The topography of the area is generally flat land, like most of the Gangetic plains. It is a fairly compact tract of alluvial plain, sloping gently from south to north. Mokama Taal is a perennial water system and exhibits enormous biodiversity. Kawar (Kabar) Lake, an IBA site is close to Mokama, and when the birds get disturbed at Kawar they fly to Mokama.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: About 149 species of birds have been estimated to occur in the area. Further surveys will most certainly add to the number of species. The site also holds, on a regular basis, over 20,000 breeding and migratory waterbirds. The Black Ibis Pseudibis papillosa, Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus, Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia, Greylag Goose Anser anser and Barheaded Goose A. indicus are some of the species reported from the area. Ten globally threatened and Near Threatened species are found here. Flocks of 200 Eurasian Spoonbill are not uncommon. Similarly, Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanica is found in thousands, along with a few hundred Large Whistling Duck D. bicolor (Mehboob Alam pers. comm. 2002).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: As the site is surrounded by agricultural fields and villagers, there is no large wild mammal or reptile of conservation concern.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni passage  2004  present  A1  Least Concern 
Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Indian Vulture Gyps indicus non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2003 high not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - herbicides and pesticides happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Pollution industrial & military effluents - type unknown/unrecorded likely in long term (beyond 4 years) whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Residential and commercial development commercial and industrial development likely in long term (beyond 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) very rapid to severe deterioration low


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   -
Artificial - terrestrial   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
fisheries/aquaculture -
Notes: Fishing

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


Anonymous (2000) EIA Interim Report, for the 3x660 MW Barh Super Thermal Power Plant, of M/s National Thermal power Corporation Limited. Ghosh Bose & Associates Pvt. Ltd., Calcutta.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Mokama Taal (Barah) Wetlands. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife