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Location India, Maharashtra
Central coordinates 75o 11.63' East  18o 21.00' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 849,644 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description The Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary is situated in Solapur and Ahmednagar districts, covering a huge area of 849,644 ha. Most of the Sanctuary is under cultivation and human habitation, thus it is not suitable for the Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps. Within this Sanctuary, the grassland plots where the Great Indian Bustard is regularly seen are identified as IBAs (For details about the Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary, see Rahmani 1989, Bharucha 1996). From 1980, Nannaj and Karmala were selected for special conservation measures by the Forest Department for the protection of the Great Indian Bustard. While bustard has almost become extinct in Karmala due to mismanagement of the habitat, it is still surviving in Nannaj, where it is being monitored for the last 23 years by BNHS and the Forest Department. This IBA site description mainly deals with Nannaj area. Nannaj is a small village 20 km north of Solapur on Solapur-Barshi road. The terrain is generally undulating, characteristic of the Deccan plateau. Rainfall is erratic and poorly distributed, with fluctuations over the years. The area around Nannaj can be broadly divided into plantation and grassland plots of Drought Prone Areas Programme (DPAP) and District Rural Development Authority (DRDA), unprotected grazing land and crop fields. Important grasslands where the Great Indian Bustard is or was seen are: Nannaj plots, Mardi grazing land and grassland, Akolekati plantation and grassland, Vadala grazing land, Gangewadi plantation, Mohol grazing land and grassland, and Gangewadi grazing land. The natural vegetation of the sanctuary can be classified as Southern Tropical Thorn Forest (Champion and Seth 1968) and Tropical Grassland. However, the natural vegetation has more or less disappeared, and in the non-agricultural areas, scrub and grasslands are seen. Grasses such as Sehima nervosum, Eremopogon foveolatus and Cymbopogon martinii dominate the land (Rahmani 1989).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps resident  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Lesser Florican Sypheotides indicus resident  2004  present  A1  Endangered 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary 849,644 is identical to site 849,644  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   -
Grassland   -
Artificial - terrestrial   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature Conservation
rangeland/pastureland -
Notes: Grazing

Acknowledgements Key contributors: A. R. Rahmani and R. Manakadan.


Bharucha, E. K. (1996) Evolving a rational strategy for an integrated protection area system in Maharashtra. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 93: 513-554.

Kumar, S. and Rahmani, A. R. (1997) Status of Indian Grey Wolf Canis lupus pallipes and its conservation in marginal agricultural areas of Solapur district, Maharashtra. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 94 (3): 466-472.

Rahmani, A. R. and Manakadan, R. (1986) Movement and flock composition of the Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps (Vigors) at Nannaj, Solapur District, Maharashtra, India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 83: 17-30.

Rahmani, A. R. (1989) The Great Indian Bustard: Final Report. Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay. Pp. 234.

Rahmani, A. R. (1993) Project Bustard: Last Chance to Save the Great Indian Bustard. In: Bird Conservation- Strategies for the Nineties and Beyond (eds. Verghese, A., Sridhar, S. and Chakravarthy, A. K.). Ornithological Society of India, Bangalore. Pp.73-75.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Jawaharlal Nehru Bustard Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 23/10/2014

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