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Location India, Maharashtra
Central coordinates 72o 57.80' East  19o 18.58' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 10,308 ha
Altitude 0 - 500m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description This IBA includes a complex consisting of Sanjay Gandhi National Park (10,307 ha), Tungareshwar Wildlife Sanctuary (8,570 ha) and Reserve Forests between them. The Sanjay Gandhi National Park is located in the Sahyadri Range in the northernmost part of the Western Ghats. The Park is unique in being partly located within the mega metropolitan, Mumbai. Part of it is the adjoining district of Thane. A small portion of the Park (about 1.5%), on the banks of the Vasai creek known as Bassein, is at sea level and has mangrove patches and other characteristics of a typical coastal estuarine zone. A large variety of fauna is known to exist near Ghodbunder, Vasai Bunder and Nagla Bunder; the mangrove patches on the northern banks of Vasai creek are still in reasonably good condition. The Park constitutes the prime catchment area of two freshwater lakes, Tulsi and Vihar, which supply water to Mumbai city. These two freshwater lakes have aquatic fauna and flora typical of man made lakes. Within the Park, there are enclosures of Lion Safari and Tiger Safari. The existence of the old Buddhist Kanheri Caves at the centre of the Park makes the area a place of great historical importance. About 104 rockcut caves, evidence of the existence of monastic settlements from the 2nd to 9th century AD, are shelters carved in rock, with some beautiful sculptures. There are Viharas (monasteries) and Chaityas (temples), with stone beds and cisterns still intact. The forest is Tropical Dry Deciduous or the Southern Dry Deciduous as classified by Champion and Seth (1968), and dominated by Teak Tectona grandis, and Bamboo Dendrocalamus strictus. Other associated species are Pterocarpus marsupium, Adina cordifolia, Boswellia serrata, Diospyrus melanoxylon, Terminalia arjuna, Syzygium cumini and Terminalia tomentosa. The area also bears patches of Evergreen Forest or Western Subtropical hill Forest. In Tungareshwar WLS the habitat is more moist deciduous. About 600 species of plants, over 250 species of birds, 150 species of butterflies, and 36 species of herpetofauna are reported from this newly declared Sanctuary (D. Apte pers. comm. 2003).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1, A3  Critically Endangered 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Indian Vulture Gyps indicus non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Nilgiri Woodpigeon Columba elphinstonii resident  2004  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Sanjay Gandhi National Park 8,696 protected area contained by site 8,696  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Rushikesh Chavan, Deepak Apte, Debi Goenka, Sunjoy Monga and Vijay A. Paranjpye.


BirdLife International (undated) Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Asia: Project briefing book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K., unpublished.

Champion, H. G. and Seth, S. K. (1968) A revised survey of forest types of India, Govt. of India Press, Delhi.

Monga, S. (2000) City Forest: Mumbai’s National Park, India Book House Ltd., Mumbai.

Stattersfield, A. J., Crosby, M. J., Long, A. J. and Wege, D. C. (1998) Endemic Bird Areas of the World: Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation. BirdLife Conservation Series No. 7. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Downloaded from on 01/10/2014

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