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Location India, Madhya Pradesh
Central coordinates 78o 7.00' East  23o 5.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4iii
Area 7,690 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Barna Reservoir is located beside the national highway NH-12, c. 85 km from Bhopal, the state capital and c. 45 km from the nearest railhead, Obedullaganj. It is one of the most important waterbodies of Raisen district. The reservoir has dense forest on three sides, and shares its perimeter with two sanctuaries as its bund lies inside Singhori WLS while the backwaters lie inside the Ratapani WLS (an IBA). Barna Reservoir, apart from being a perennial water source to the animals of the sanctuaries, provides refuge to thousands of migratory birds during winter. It is mainly used for fishing and irrigation, and was created by damming the Barna river under the Narmada Valley Project. The reservoir looks like an amoeba when seen from above, with large numbers of bays and meandering inland channels, surrounded on both sides by forest or agricultural land. These extensive belts of shallow water are ideal for waterfowl and waders. The forest around Barna belongs to Mixed Dry Deciduous category. Most forest is open and subjected to heavy biotic pressure. Apart from natural vegetation, the reservoir shares its boundary with miles of agricultural land.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: No detailed study has been conducted on the water birds of the Barna reservoir, but a preliminary survey in the winter of 2001- 2002 revealed a huge congregation of more than 20,000 birds on the main waterbody (Koustubh Sharma pers. comm. 2002). This site seems to qualify easily for A4iii criteria (site known or thought to hold on a regular basis equal to or more than 20,000 birds). Among the conspicuous birds, large flocks of Common Coot Fulica atra and Red-crested Pochard Rhodonessa rufina were seen in the relatively deeper portion of the reservoir. This site has not been covered during the Asian Waterfowl Census, and needs regular monitoring of waterfowl and other birds. Villagers report nesting of Sarus Crane Grus antigone in agricultural land, where the Sarus traditionally enjoys protection. The near threatened Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus is also seen, but breeding has not been recorded. The surrounding forest and agricultural fields have 30 species listed in Biome-11 (Indo-Malayan Tropical Dry Zone). However, most of these species are presently common and widely distributed, hence of low conservation importance.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: A moderate population of Tiger Panthera tigris, Leopard Panthera pardus and Dhole Cuon alpinus is reported from Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary as well as Singhori Wildlife Sancuary that surround Barna Reservoir. Apart from these, Striped Hyena Hyaena hyaena, Golden Jackal Canis aureus and Jungle Cat Felis chaus constitute the main carnivore population. Herbivore population consists of Chital Axis axis, Sambar Cervus unicolor, Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus, Four-horned Antelope Tetracerus quadricornis, Chinkara Gazella bennettii, Blackbuck Antilope cervicapra and Wild Boar Sus scrofa.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Sarus Crane Antigone antigone 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 annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming 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 small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - herbicides and pesticides likely in long term (beyond 4 years) majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration medium


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: Irrigation

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Koustubh Sharma.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Barna Reservoir. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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