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Location India, Haryana
Central coordinates 76o 41.00' East  28o 37.48' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 412 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Bhindawas Bird Sanctuary is the largest wetland in Haryana, spread over 412 ha, with a periphery of 12 km. An area of 513 ha has been declared as a sanctuary for the protection of waterfowl. The Sanctuary is located in Rohtak district about 80 km west of Delhi. The villages Kanawah, Nawada, Shajadpur, Chadwana and Redhuwas surround the Sanctuary, the village Bhindawas lies a little away from the Sanctuary. Eucalyptus, Acacia, Azadirachta and Zizyphus are planted around the lake. Cormorants, egrets and storks use them for roosting and nesting. Bhindawas wetlands harbour all the vegetation found in a typical wetland of the Gangetic plains, including submerged Hydrilla, and Typha on the fringes.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: A total of 265 species of birds have been recorded in the Sanctuary (S. C. Sharma and B. Harvey pers. comm. 2003). In good years, the lake has attracted over 30,000 birds on passage and in winter. Wildfowl are particularly significant and include in recent years, large flocks of Barheaded Goose Anser indicus (up to 830) and Greylag Goose A. anser (up to 1,320). Ducks such as Mallard Anas platyrhynchos, Red-crested Pochard Rhodonessa rufina, Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca and Baer’s Pochard A. baeri were recorded 2001-2003. The Greater Spotted Aquila clanga and Imperial Eagle A. heliaca winter regularly. Subject to water conditions, large flocks of Great White Pelicans Pelecanus onocrotalus, Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus, Blackheaded Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus, Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia and Greater Flamingos Phoenicopterus ruber can be seen. Equally important is the breeding colony of up to 5,000 pairs of herons, egrets and cormorants, which include 20 pairs of Darters Anhinga melanogaster and up to 120 pairs of Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo roosting in the Eucalyptus trees. Two pairs of Sarus Cranes Grus antigone and a pair of Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus are resident and the former have been breeding in recent years. An important recent addition is Haryana’s largest known colony of the Sind Sparrow Passer pyrrhonotus (S. C. Sharma and B. Harvey pers. comm. 2003). Beside fulfilling A1 and A4iii criteria, this site also fulfils A4i (1% population threshold) criteria, as biogeographic populations of many species would be much more than the 1% population threshold determined by the Wetlands International (2002). For example, Wetlands International (2002) estimates that the total population of Bar-headed Goose is between 52,000 and 60,000, and taking average of these numbers, 1% population would be 560. In Bhindawas, more than 800 are seen. Similarly, the nonbreeding population of Greylag Goose (subspecies rubrirostris), which breeds in Central Asia and winters in Central and South Asia, is about 15,000 and 1% is 150. Almost 10% of this population is seen in Bhindawas. Beside the usual ducks and geese found in the Gangetic plains, Bhindawas has a unique distinction that some uncommon (in India) birds were also seen here. For instance, Greater Whitefronted Goose Anser albifrons, rare winter vagrant, was noted by S. C. Sharma and B. Harvey (in litt. 2002). They also reported sighting of a Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus by Nirmal Ghosh. Possibly, these birds are found in many more wetlands but over-looked. The Demoiselle Crane Grus virgo is a rare passage migrant through Bhindawas, while the Common Crane Grus grus winters here in small numbers. One species that is of global concern is the Pallas’s Fish Eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus (BirdLife International 2001). Formerly, it was a rare winter visitor to Bhindawas but there is no recent record (S. C. Sharma and H. Harvey in litt. 2003). This species has disappeared from many wetlands, either as a breeding bird (e.g. Keoladeo NP in Rajasthan) or as winter migrant. In Haryana, it is reported only from one site in recent years, i.e. Sultanpur National Park, although historically it had been reported from Ambala, Hissar and other areas (BirdLife International 2001, and the reference therein).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: As the wetland is surrounded by agricultural fields and villages, there is no large mammal of conservation concern. Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus, Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Common Mongoose Herpestes edwardsi, and Black-naped Hare Lepus nigricollis are some of the mammals reported from this Sanctuary.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Baer's Pochard Aythya baeri winter  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Greylag Goose Anser anser 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis resident  2004  present  A1  Near Threatened 
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 Vulture Gyps indicus non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Sarus Crane Antigone antigone resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
White-browed Bushchat Saxicola macrorhynchus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

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

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now whole area/population (>90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Climate change and severe weather drought likely in short term (within 4 years) majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species likely in long term (beyond 4 years) majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - abstraction of surface water (agricultural use) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - herbicides and pesticides happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - soil erosion, sedimentation happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Bhindawas Sanctuary 412 is identical to site 412  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism and recreation
water management -
Notes: Water management

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Bill Harvey, Suresh C. Sharma, and members of the Delhibird Club.


BirdLife International (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: The BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

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 (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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