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Location India, Rajasthan
Central coordinates 75o 52.00' East  25o 0.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4iii
Area 20,143 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Alniya is an irrigation tank that supports agriculture in the surrounding areas through minor and major canals. Many pairs of Sarus Crane Grus antigone use the habitat around the lake for breeding. In February 2002, Manoj Kulshreshtha, State Coordinator of IBCN, conducted a survey. He found 20-21,000 waterfowl in the lake, and 16 pairs of Sarus raising their chicks. Due to scanty rainfall in 2002, this lake was affected and reduced to one-fourth of its total capacity. With normal rainfall and consequently normal waterspread, there could be 30,000 waterfowl here. This is identified as an IBA on the basis of the large number of waterfowl that gather in this wetland in winter. No proper floral study has been conducted in this wetland. Common plants found in the waterbody were Ceratophyllum muricatum, Eichhornia crassipes, Ipomoea aquatica, Lemna aequinoctalis, Phragmites karka, Polygonum glabrum, Potamogeton pectinatus and Vallisneria spiralis.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Among the threatened species listed in the Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001), the Sarus Crane is a regular breeding species at the lake. The other globally threatened species recorded is the Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis. Seven Skimmers were recorded in May 1989 by Vyas (1990) and one in July 1989 by Sangha and Kulshreshtha in (1998). Alniya is close to the National Chambal Sanctuary (another IBA) where the Indian Skimmer often breeds, so these birds are likely to be arriving from there. Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus, classified as Conservation Dependent by BirdLife International (2001), is regularly seen at Alniya Dam (Vyas 1993). The Great White Pelican P. onocrotalus is also seen here. Common species are Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger, Common Teal Anas crecca, Common Pochard Aythya ferina, Coot Fulica atra, Redwattled Lapwing Vanellus indicus, Indian River Tern Sterna aurantia, Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus, Little Grebe Podiceps ruficollis, Pond Heron Ardea grayii, Ruff Philomachus pugnax and Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea. The Near Threatened species recorded were Darter Anhinga melanogaster, Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala and Blacknecked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus (Vyas 1990, 1993). Vyas has seen up to seven individuals of Black-necked Stork in January 1990 when the water of Alniya Dam was partially drained for irrigation purpose and a large shallow zone was created where fish, frogs and crustaceans were trapped. Other interesting records from this site are White Stork Ciconia ciconia and Black Stork Ciconia nigra, both winter migrants to India. It is likely that many waterbird species are present in Alniya Dam above their 1% threshold levels determined by Wetlands International (2002). This site has been selected as an IBA based on the presence of a breeding population of the globally threatened Sarus crane (A1 criteria) and presence of more than 20,000 waterbirds (A4iii criteria).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Eleven species of commercially valuable fish including Amblypharyngodon mola, Catla catla, Channa marulius, Cirrhinus mrigala, Cyprinus carpio var. communis, Puntius sarana, and P. ticto, were recorded from the reservoir. Not much is known about other wildlife.

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 
Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis breeding  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2013 very high unfavourable negligible
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - type unknown/unrecorded happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high

Artificial - aquatic   0 0 moderate (70-90%) moderate (70-90%) unfavourable

Little/none of site covered (<10%)  No management planning has taken place  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  negligible 


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
fisheries/aquaculture -
Notes: Fishing
water management -
Notes: Irrigation

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Manoj Kulshreshtha, Harkirat Singh Sangha and Rakesh Vyas.


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

Kulshreshtha, M. (2002) Important Wetlands of Rajasthan. Bombay Natural History Society and Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History. Unpublished report.

Sangha, H. S. and Kulshreshtha, M. (1998) Sighting of Indian Skimmer (Rynchops albicollis) in Rajasthan far from its fluvials (riverine) habitat. Newsletter for Birdwatchers 38 (5): 86-87.

Vyas, R. (1990) Status of endangered resident species of waterfowl at Kota in eastern Rajasthan. Newsletter for Birdwatchers. 30 (9 & 10): 6-7.

Vyas, R. (1993) Population and Wetland Habitat Preference of Waterfowls at Kota. In: Bird Conservation Strategies for the Nineties and Beyond. (eds. A. Verghese, S. Sridhar and A. K. Chakravarthy). Ornithological Society of India. Pp. 33-38.

Wetlands International (2002) Waterbirds 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: Alniya Dam. Downloaded from on 29/10/2016

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