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Location India, Bihar
Central coordinates 84o 8.60' East  27o 18.50' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 88,078 ha
Altitude 125 - 880m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Valmiki Tiger Reserve is located in the northernmost part of West Champaran district of Bihar. The Rivers Gandak and Masan flow through this area. The core area of the Tiger Reserve is a National Park (Jain 2001). Most of the terai forests and grasslands in Bihar have been converted in to agricultural fields. Valmiki Tiger Reserve is the only such habitat left untouched in Bihar. This Reserve is also under tremendous pressure from encroachers and poachers. Saraiya Man Bird Sanctuary is a freshwater body c. 7 km from Bagha. It is known for good numbers of waterbirds. We have designated this small bird sanctuary and the Tiger Reserve as one IBA. The forest types include Mixed Deciduous Forests, Cane brakes, grasslands and swamp forests. Important trees include Sal Shorea robusta, Khair Acacia catechu and Cane Calamus pseudo-tenuis.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: The avifauna of this Reserve is inadequately studied, but it can be said that where the forest is intact, almost all the terai forest species are likely to occur that are found in Dudhwa (Javed and Rahmani 1998) or the adjoining Sohagi Barwa Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh. Presently, the grasslands are not in good condition, due to grazing and plantation, but they could be revived with effective management. We might even get back the Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis that has become locally extinct in the Reserve. Mukherjee (1986) claims to have seen one bird in 1980. To the north of Valmiki Tiger Reserve, in Nepal, is located the Royal Chitwan National Park, where this species is still found (BirdLife International 2001). Globally threatened species such as the Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis and Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius have been reported from the area (Javed and Rahmani 1991). The Vulnerable Sarus Crane Grus antigone also occurs in small numbers (Anon. 1993, Gopi Sundar et al. 2000). The Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius has not been seen for many decades, but the Lesser Adjutant L. javanicus is still found in streams and ponds. The most important wetland, Bhasa-lotan (= wallow of buffalo), famous for Wild Buffalo Bubalus arnee (=bubalis), has been completely drained out and now a bustling, dirty town stands over it.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Valmiki Tiger Reserve was the 18th tiger reserve to be declared in India, with the sole purpose of arresting the decline of this apex carnivore, and also an ecosystem which could support this endangered animal. Besides Tiger Panthera tigris, it has Leopard P. pardus, Sambar Cervus unicolor, Cheetal or Spotted Deer Axis axis, Hog Deer Axis porcinus and other associated animals of the terai. Wild Buffalo and Swamp Deer Cervus duvaucelii have become locally extinct. Hispid Hare Caprolagus hispidus probably survives in the grassland.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis resident  2004  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Sarus Crane Antigone antigone resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius winter  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Valmiki National Park 33,565 protected area contained by site 33,565  
Valmiki Sanctuary 54,467 protected area contained by site 54,467  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry -
Notes: Forestry
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature education and conservation
water management -
Notes: Water management

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Arvind Mishra, Asad R. Rahmani and Pushp Jain.


Anonymous (1993) Important fauna of tiger reserves. Project Tiger, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, New Delhi.

BirdLife International (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: The BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International. Cambridge, U.K.

Gopi Sundar, K. S., Kaur, J. and Choudhury, B. C. (2000) Distribution, demography and conservation status of the Indian Sarus Crane (Grus antigone antigone) in India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 97 (3): 319-339.

Jain, P. (2001) Project Tiger Status Report, Project Tiger, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, New Delhi.

Javed, S. and Rahmani, A. R. (1991) Swamp Francolin in the north Indian terai. World Pheasant Assoc. News. 34: 15-18.

Javed, S. and Rahmani, A. R. (1998) Conservation of the avifauna of Dudwa National Park, India. Forktail 14: 55-64.

Mukherjee, A. K. (1986) The ecology and conservation of Bengal Florican Eupodotis bengalensis (Gmelin). In Majpuria, T. J. (ed.) Wildlife Wealth of India. Thailand Teepress Service.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Valmiki Tiger Reserve and Saraiyaman Lake. Downloaded from on 05/05/2015

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