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Location India, Rajasthan
Central coordinates 70o 45.02' East  26o 34.68' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 316,200 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description In order to protect the fauna and flora of the Thar Desert, the Government of India in the late 1970s started planning the establishment of a large sanctuary or a park where human pressure could be kept to a minimum and the wildlife could be given maximum security from hunters as well as from habitat alteration. The Desert Wildlife Sanctuary (popularly called Desert National Park) was the result of this planning. It is among the one of the three protected areas of the Thar Desert (Rahmani 1997). It was notified in 1984 and it was planned to gradually upgrade it to a Park, hence its popular name Desert National Park. One of the main purposes of establishing this Park was to protect the Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps. The major objective of the Park is to develop core areas (enclosures) in which human interference is kept to a minimum and livestock grazing is totally banned. In the initial stages, Sam, Sudasari, Phulia, and Miyajlar enclosures were established. Every year, the Forest Department is adding new enclosures. Presently, there are 28 enclosures. Besides the enclosures within the Park, there are six enclosures outside the boundary, which are called satellite conservation areas (Rahmani 1989, 1997).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Indian Vulture Gyps indicus non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps resident  2004  present  A1, A3  Critically Endangered 
Chlamydotis undulata winter  2004  present  A1  Not Recognised 
White-browed Bushchat Saxicola macrorhynchus resident  2004  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Desert National Park 316,200 is identical to site 316,200  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
energy production and mining -
Notes: ONGC oil exploration
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism and recreation
urban/industrial/transport -
Notes: Human habitation
water management -
Notes: Water canal

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Asad R. Rahmani.


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

Rahmani, A. R. (1989) The Uncertain Future of the Desert National Park in Rajasthan, India. Environmental Conservation 16 (3): 237-244.

Rahmani, A. R. (1996a) Status and distribution of Stoliczka’s Bushchat Saxicola macrorhyncha in India. Forktail 12: 61-77.

Rahmani, A. R. (1996b) Sight Record of Green Munia Amandava formosa in the Desert National Park, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 93(2): 298-299 Rahmani, A. R. (1997) Wildlife in the Thar, World Wide Fund for Nature, New Delhi. Pp. 1-100.

Rahmani, A. R. (1998) Status survey of the Houbara Bustard Chlamydotis undulata macqueenii in the Thar desert of India. Final Report. Pp. 39. World Wide Fund for Nature-India and Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. Mumbai.

Rahmani, A. R. and Manakadan, R. (1989) Breeding records of the Cream-coloured Courser from India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 86: 447.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Desert National Park. Downloaded from on 16/09/2014

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