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Location India, Rajasthan
Central coordinates 72o 55.00' East  27o 40.00' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 5,019 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Diyatra Closed Area in Bikaner is one of the most important sites for the Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps in the Thar Desert (Rahmani 1986, 1997). In the early 1980s, there were 30-50 bustards in this area, but due to intensification of agriculture, overgrazing and poaching, the number has perhaps halved. The site used to be the hunting reserve of the Maharaja of Bikaner for Great Indian Bustard. The site is situated approximately 65 km southwest of Bikaner along the National Highway to Jaisalmer. Various departments of the Rajasthan Government have established pasture enclosures at various periods of time but most of them are neglected and over-run by livestock. If properly protected, these grassland enclosures would have provided undisturbed breeding areas to the Great Indian Bustard. However, now these enclosures are mainly used by Chinkara Gazella bennettii, and Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus, and rarely by the Great Indian Bustard. Important flora of Diyatra consists of Zizyphus rotundifolia, Capparis decidua, Calotropis procera, Prosopis cineraria, Calligonum sp., Leptadenia pyrotechnica and the grass Cenchrus biflorus (Satish K. Sharma pers. comm. 2003). The sandy zone, having low grasslands and scrub vegetation is dominated by Zizyphus rotundifolia and Capparis decidua.

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 
Indian Vulture Gyps indicus non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps resident  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
White-browed Bushchat Saxicola macrorhynchus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
rangeland/pastureland -
Notes: Grazing

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Asad R. Rahmani.


Rahmani, A. R. (1986) Status of the Great Indian Bustard in Rajasthan–I. Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay. Pp. 34.

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

Rahmani, A. R. (1997) Wildlife in the Thar. World Wide Fund for Nature, New Delhi.

Rahmani, A. R. and Manakadan, R. (1989) Breeding records of Creamcoloured Courser Cursorius cursor cursor (Latham) from India. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc.86: 447-448.

Sharma, V. D (1986) Sariska jewel of the Aravallis. Sanctuary Asia 6(2): 143, 164-169.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Diyatra Closed Area. Downloaded from on 21/10/2014

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