|Location||India, Delhi,Uttar Pradesh|
|Central coordinates||77o 18.00' East 28o 33.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4iii|
|Year of IBA assessment||2004|
Site description Delhi and the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh harbour a huge wetland refuge for birds. The site is located at the point where the River Yamuna leaves the territory of Delhi and enters the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh. The most prominent feature of the Sanctuary is a large lake created by damming the river, which lies sandwiched between Okhla village towards the west and Gautam Budh Nagar towards the east (Urfi 2003). So rich is this stretch of the river in avian diversity that it could well qualify as a Ramsar wetland of international importance. However, various development activities such as the construction of the NOIDA-Delhi freeway are encroaching on prime habitats of several birds. The Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) side of Okhla has already been declared a bird sanctuary. This Sanctuary comes under the Irrigation Department. The aquatic vegetation of this stretch of River Yamuna has been described by Gopal and Sah (1993). Typha and Phragmites reed beds are abundant, especially during monsoon. Patches of Water Hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes form dense mats. Salvinia is also found. The common tree species are Acacia nilotica, Acacia modesta, Albizzia lebbeck, Dalbergia sissoo, Zizyphus mauritiana, Ficus bengalensis and F. glomerata.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Baer's Pochard Aythya baeri||winter||2004||present||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus||resident||2004||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis||resident||2004||present||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|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|
|Sarus Crane Antigone antigone||resident||2004||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius||winter||2004||present||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis||breeding||2004||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Bristled Grassbird Chaetornis striata||resident||2004||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Yellow Weaver Ploceus megarhynchus||resident||2004||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||unknown||2004||20,000 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Okhla||Sanctuary||400||is identical to site||400|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: Water management|
Acknowledgements Key contributors: Nikhil Devasar, Abdul J. Urfi, Bill Harvey and Tarun K. Roy.
Ali, S. and Ripley, S. D. (1987) Compact Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan (Second Edition). Oxford University Press, Delhi.
BirdLife International (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: The BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.
Ganguli, U. (1975) A guide to the birds of the Delhi area. Indian Council for Agricultural Research, New Delhi.
Gopal, B. and Sah, M. (1993) Conservation and management of rivers in India: case study of the River Yamuna. Environmental Conservation 20: 243-254.
Grewal, B. (1996) Bristled Grassbird Chaetornis striatus at Okhla, Delhi. OBC Bulletin, 24: 43-44.
Grimmett, R., Inskipp C. and Inskipp, T. (1998) Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. A. & C. Black/Christopher Helm London.
Harris, C. (2001) Checklist of the birds of Yamuna river (Okhla to Jaitpur village). Unpublished.
Rai, Y. M. (1979) Finn’s Weaver breeding in Meerut. Newsletter for Birdwatchers 19: 11.
Urfi, A. J. (1993) The Birdlife of Okhla. Sanctuary Asia 13 (5): 50 -53.
Urfi, A. J. (1997) The significance of Delhi Zoo for wild waterbirds, with special reference to the Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala. Forktail 12: 87-97.
Urfi, A. J. (2003) The birds of Okhla Barrage Bird Sanctuary, Delhi, India. Forktail 19: 39-50.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Okhla Bird Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 21/09/2014
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