|Central coordinates||86o 55.80' East 25o 17.38' North|
|Year of IBA assessment||2004|
Site description A 60 km stretch of the River Ganga extending from Sultanganj, eastward to Kahalgaon has been notified as the Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary. During monsoon, the river inundates a vast floodplain and the river course also changes a bit. There are many small sandbars inhabited by birds. They serve as breeding grounds for many birds, especially the section from Sultamour to Bhagalpur, a 36 km stretch, which seems to be a paradise for birds and other aquatic animals.
AVIFAUNA: This site has been selected as an IBA due to the presence of hundreds of Indian Skimmers Rynchops albicollis. Globally threatened species such as the Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius and Lesser Adjutant L. javanicus are also present. Other storks present are the Black Ciconia nigra, Black-necked Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus, White-necked Ciconia episcopus, and the Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans. The Sanctuary is rich in waders. Common Crane Grus grus, Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia and various ducks are also seen here.
OTHER KEY FAUNA: The River Ganga is the lifeline of north India and the Gangetic Dolphin Platanista gangetica epitomizes its life and the wealth of biodiversity in India. This is the only Dolphin Sanctuary to be declared in India. Listed by IUCN as Endangered, included in Appendix-II of CITES, and placed in Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the dolphin enjoys a high level of protection, nationally and internationally. Yet its numbers continue to decline due to continuing developmental pressures on its habitat.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|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 Skimmer Rynchops albicollis||breeding||2004||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|2003||high||not assessed||not assessed|
|Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data|
|Biological resource use||fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale||happening now||majority/most of area/population (50-90%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Natural system modifications||dams & water management/use - abstraction of surface water (unknown use)||likely in long term (beyond 4 years)||whole area/population (>90%)||slow but significant deterioration||medium|
|Pollution||agricultural & forestry effluents - herbicides and pesticides||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||slow but significant deterioration||low|
|Pollution||domestic & urban waste water - sewage||happening now||some of area/population (10-49%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||high|
|Transportation and service corridors||shipping lanes||happening now||small area/few individuals (<10%)||moderate to rapid deterioration||low|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Vikramshila||Sanctuary||0||is identical to site||5,000|
Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.
|Mandar Nature Club (Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary)||0|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
Acknowledgements Key contributors: Sandeep Behera, Arvind Mishra and R. K. Sinha.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Vikramshila Gangetic Dolphin Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 30/08/2015
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