|Central coordinates||77o 31.10' East 27o 9.55' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4iii|
|Altitude||172 - 175m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2004|
Site description The Keoladeo National Park, better known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, is renowned the world over for its avifauna. A great assortment of mammals can be sighted here as well. A unique feature of the wetland ecosystem of the Keoladeo National Park is its origin from a natural depression, which was an evanescent rainfed wetland (Vijayan 1994). The construction of Ajan Bandh, a temporary reservoir, about a km from the present border of the Park, some 250 years ago, and the subsequent flooding of the area, mark the beginning of human involvement in the conversion of this natural depression into a permanent waterfowl reserve (Vijayan 1990). Subsequently, several earthen bunds and sluice gates were constructed to contain and regulate the water level. The water inside the Park, drawn through a canal from Ajan Bandh (3,270 ha) during the monsoon, gradually recedes and the Park dries up in May-June, leaving only some pools in the deeper areas. These pools, which teem with fish, attract flocks of fish-eating birds. Apart from this, a large number of fish die in the drying pools and scavengers have a feast. Turtles become vulnerable to predation during this period, although many aestivate and some take refuge in deeper pools like Mansarovar located in the middle of the Park. Floristic elements and vegetation of Rajasthan have been discussed in detail by Meher-Homji (1970) and Puri et al. (1983). The flora of the Park has been studied extensively by Prasad et al. (1996). The forest areas, which are small pockets mostly in the northeast section of the Sanctuary, are dominated by Mitragyna parviflora, Syzygium cumini, Acacia nilotica and an occasional Azadirachta indica. The open woodland is mostly Acacia nilotica with a small proportion of Zizyphus mauritiana. The scrubland is dominated by Zizyphus, Capparis aphylla, Salvadora oleoides and S. persica. Lantana camara and Adhatoda vasica are common shrubs. The wild species of rice Oryza rufipogon, water lilies Nymphae spp., and Trapa are the important wild macrophytes. Grasses such as Khus Vetiveria zizanioides, Scirpus sp. and Desmostachya bipinnata grow in the uplands, which are flooded for a short duration.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||Vulnerable|
|Baer's Pochard Aythya baeri||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Near Threatened|
|White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Indian Vulture Gyps indicus||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Siberian Crane Leucogeranus leucogeranus||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Sarus Crane Grus antigone||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|White-browed Bushchat Saxicola macrorhynchus||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||unknown||2004||20,000 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Keoladeo Ghana||National Park||2,873||is identical to site||2,873|
|Keoladeo National Park||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||2,873||is identical to site||2,873|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Nature conservation and research|
|Notes: Tourism and recreation|
Acknowledgements Key contributors: V. S. Vijayan and Bholu Khan.
Meher-Homji, V. M. (1970) Some phytogeographic aspects of Rajasthan, India. Vegetatio 12: 299-321.
Prasad, V. P., Mason, D. Marburger, J. E. and Ajith Kumar, C. R. (1996) Illustrated Flora of Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan. Bombay Natural History Society and Oxford University Press, Mumbai. Pp. 435.
Puri, G. S., Meher-Homji, V. M., Gupta, R. K. and Suri, S. (1983) Forest Ecology. 2 Vols. Oxford and IBH Publishing Co., New Delhi.
Vijayan, V. S. (1990) Keoladeo National Park, Ecology Project, Summary Report 1980-1990. Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay.
Vijayan, V. S. (1991) Keoladeo National Park Ecology Study (1980-1990) - An Overview. Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay.
Vijayan, L. (1994) Ramsar Sites of India, Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan.WWF-India, New Delhi, 1994.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Keoladeo National Park and Ajan Bande. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/12/2013
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