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Location India, Gujarat
Central coordinates 68o 58.03' East  22o 20.75' North
IBA criteria A1, A4iii
Area 8,200 ha
Altitude
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society



Site description Charakla Saltworks is located near Okhamandal in Jamnagar district. The area is bound by the Gulf of Kutch coast on the north and spreads to the Arabian sea coast down south. Sea water is pumped in form the Gulf of Kutch and allowed to flow through a series of shallow ponds to enable the process of evaporation for the production of salt. These salt pans attracts tens of thousands of waterbirds. The area features four types of habitats: the saltpans, mangroves, thorny scrub in the surrounding area, and saline wastelands.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: About 120 species of birds have been identified in this IBA (Vivek Talwar and Satish H. Trivedi pers. comm. 2003). There are reports of more than 300 Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis seen in some winters, perhaps the largest known population in India. The Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus is known to breed in the area - another confirmed site where this bird breeds is Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary in the same district. Sometimes large flocks consisting of up to 300 to 400 individuals of Rosy Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus, and Dalmatian Pelican P. crispus are seen. Both species of flamingos – the Greater Phoenicopterus ruber and the Lesser P. minor - are seen in thousands. Despite the presence of these large spectacular birds, the site is famous for its multitude flocks of smaller waders such as stints, sandpipers, plovers, curlews and godwits. Some species occur in much greater numbers than their 1% population threshold determined by Wetlands International (2002). Thirty species of small waders are reported from this area – the list is too long to include here. Among gulls, Herring Larus argentatus, Lesser Black-backed L. fuscus, Great Black-headed L. ichthyaetus, Brown-headed L. brunnicephalus, Black-headed L. ridibundus and Slender-billed L. genei are found. Terns are represented by Sandwich Sterna sandvicensis, Large Crested S. bergii, Little S. albifrons, Blackshafted Sterna saundersi, Gull-billed Gelochelidon nilotica and Caspian Hydroprogne caspia. The Caspian Tern breeds in this area (Sudershan Rodriquez pers. comm. 2004). This site is selected on the basis of A1 (Threatened Species), A4i (= 1% of biogeographic populations of many species) and A4iii (presence of = 20,000 waterbirds).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Not available.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline   -
Artificial - aquatic Saltpans  major
Shrubland   -
Forest Mangrove forest (tropical)  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
urban/industrial/transport major
Notes: Bulk of the area is under saltworks operations for production of salt.
not utilised minor
Notes: Land on the flanks of the saltpans has been kept fallow to facilitate drainage of storm water during the monsoon season.

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Vivek Talwar, Satish H. Trivedi and Satish Pradhan.

References 

Wetlands International (2002). Waterbird Population Estimates – Third Edition. Wetlands International Global Series No. 12, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Charakla Saltworks. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/12/2014

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