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Location India, Gujarat
Central coordinates 72o 15.33' East  21o 40.22' North
IBA criteria A1, A4iii
Area 357,540 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description The district of Bhavnagar lies to the west of the Gulf of Cambay in the Kathiawad peninsula in the State of Gujarat. The district used to hold numerous village tanks, estuaries and streams which were the main habitat for waterfowl, but many such natural habitats have been destroyed or have deteriorated in quality. However, their role is now taken over by salt pans. The saltworks have created an important habitat for wetland birds and are now being used by a great variety of species as a wintering area, which were once used by few waterfowl (Dharmakumarsinhji 1973). This new habitat serves as an important staging ground for migrant waterbirds moving along the coast.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: According to Dharmakumarsinhji (1973), Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea, Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna, Northern Shoveller Anas clypeata, Northern Pintail A. acuta, Common Teal A. crecca, Garganey A. querquedula, Spotbilled Duck A. poecilorhyncha, Wigeon A. penelope and Gadwall A. strepera were common in the salt reservoirs of Bhavnagar. This site has been selected as an IBA based on A1 and A4iii criteria. The salt pans attract hundreds of thousands of small waders, especially species belonging to Calidris, Tringa, Limosa and Numenius. Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala, Oriental White Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus, various egrets and two species of flamingos also forage in these saltpans and coastal lagoons. The only globally threatened species is the Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus. Sometimes up to 200 individuals are seen here.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: These saltpans do not have any significant population of mammals or reptiles.

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 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2003 low not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

No known threats no known threats happening now whole area/population (>90%) no or imperceptible deterioration low


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
urban/industrial/transport -
Notes: Saltworks

Acknowledgements Key contributor: IBA Team.


Dharmakumarsinhji, R. (1973) Migratory and resident waterfowl (Anatidae) of Bhavnagar District, Gujarat, India. Pavo 11: 33-60.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Saltpans of Bhavnagar. Downloaded from on 20/10/2016

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