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Location India, Gujarat
Central coordinates 72o 2.00' East  22o 47.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4iii
Area 12,082 ha
Altitude 10 - 15m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary is spread over an area of 12,082 ha and is one of the largest shallow freshwater lakes in India. It has been proposed as a Ramsar Site. The Sanctuary lies in the semiarid districts of Ahmedabad and Surendranagar in north Gujarat. The Lake has an elliptical basin with a gentle slope. It is very shallow, with a maximum depth of 3 m and has about 360 islands scattered in it. The shoreline of the lake is barren and is surrounded by dry land and some crop fields (Singh 2001). Nalsarovar is also a very popular site for tourists and birdwatchers. Nalsarovar is a typical temporary shallow wetland, generally seen in dry areas. About 50 species of algae and over 72 species of aquatic plants including Vallisneria, Ceratophyllum and Chara have been recorded from the area (Singh 1998). This vast shallow wetland does not have much emergent vegetation. In drought years, it remains dry for most part of the year.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni passage  2004  present  A1  Least Concern 
Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Sarus Crane Antigone antigone resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Nal Sarovar Sanctuary 12,082 is identical to site 12,082  

Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
Nalsarovar SSG (Recreation Youth Club) 0


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture -
Notes: Fishing
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism and recreation
water management -
Notes: Irrigation; Waterways

Acknowledgements Key contributors: H. S. Singh and the IBA team.


Singh, H. S. (1998) Wildlife of Gujarat. Gujarat Ecological Education and Research (GEER) Foundation. Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India. Pp. 65 - 66.

Singh, H. S. (2001) Natural Heritage of Gujarat. Gujarat Ecological Education and Research (GEER) Foundation, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India.

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: Nalsarovar Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 30/10/2014

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