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Location India, Maharashtra
Central coordinates 74o 1.83' East  19o 59.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 10,012 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Located near Niphad in Nashik district, Nandur Madhmeshwar is a large water storage reservoir, created by the construction of a dam at the confluence of the Godavari and the Kadva rivers. The lake is a pick-up weir constructed in 1907-1913 on the Godavari river to supply water for irrigation. Over the years, the water released from Gangapur and Darana water reservoirs is stored at Nandur Madhmeshwar and subsequently released from here through canals for irrigation. Huge quantities of silt and organic matter carried in the past 90 years have accumulated in the lake, due to which islands, shallow water ponds and marshlands have been created. This has resulted in a good wetland habitat for birds. It has been aptly described as the Bharatpur of Maharashtra (Rane 1983). The Nandur-Madhmeshwar irrigation dam and the catchment areas are surrounded by sugarcane, onion, jowar and wheat fields, and grape orchards. There is no forest around this wetland (Rane 1983). The reservoir fills with monsoon runoff between July and September, and attracts several species of migratory birds between September and March. The water level fluctuates, depending upon the usage. This is quite suitable for waterfowl and waders, as most of them prefer shallow water, mudflats and marshes. Three large islands are also present within the waterbody. About 23 small satellite lakes are present within a radius of 25 km around the reservoir, adding to the overall importance of the region. About 463 species of plants have been identified (Kumar et al. 2002), of which nearly 80 are aquatic.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: At least 253 species of birds are known to occur in the region, the majority of which are migratory. The reservoir is an important staging and wintering ground for migratory waterfowl, of which over 20,000 have been recorded. These include over 750 Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger, 600 Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus, 700 Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa, 500 Little Stint Calidris minuta and 800 Small Pratincole Glareola lactea. The Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca is the only globally threatened species known from this area. It was first seen in December 1983 by Goenka et al. (1985). Many species have been seen in numbers much above their 1% threshold level determined by the Wetlands International (2002). For example, 100 White Stork Ciconia ciconia were seen (Kumar et al. 2002), while the 1% threshold is only 45 individuals in South Asia. More than 1,000 Demoiselle Crane Grus virgo are seen in and around Nandur Madhmeshwar, while 100,000 of this species winter in the Indian Subcontinent (Wetlands International 2002) therefore, 1% are seen in this IBA site alone, thus qualifying is A4i criteria. This wetland is a prime candidate as a Ramsar site.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: The Fishing cat Felis viverrina and over 20 species of fish including Puntius ticto, Channa ranga and Mystus cavasius are the important components of the biodiversity of this site.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White Stork Ciconia ciconia 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Indian Vulture Gyps indicus non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Demoiselle Crane Anthropoides virgo winter  2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2013 very high favourable medium
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - nomadic grazing happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Biological resource use fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Climate change and severe weather drought happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - type unknown/unrecorded happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Pollution domestic & urban waste water - type unknown/unrecorded happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

Forest   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Nandur-Madhameshwar Sanctuary 10,012 is identical to site 10,012  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
fisheries/aquaculture -
Notes: Aquaculture
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research
water management -
Notes: Water management

Acknowledgements Key contributors: B. Raha and N. B. Bhure.


Kumar, P., Bhure, N. B. and Nigam, A. K. (2002) Conservation of Nandur Madhmeshwar wetland, India. Pp. 139-146. In: Birds of Wetlands and Grasslands: Proceedings of the Sâlim Ali Centenary Seminar on Conservation of Avifauna of Wetlands and Grasslands. Eds: Rahmani A.R. and G. Ugra. Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai. Pp x+228.

Goenka, D., Monga, S. and Srivastava, K. (1985) Imperial Eagle, Aquila heliaca Savigny, in Maharashtra–A Southward Extension Of Its Wintering Range. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 82 (2): 406 Rane, U. (1983) Nandur Madhmeshwar: Bharatpur of Maharashtra. Hornbill (3): 32-37.

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: Nandur Madhmeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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