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Location India, Rajasthan
Central coordinates 78o 4.98' East  26o 40.48' North
IBA criteria A1, A4iii
Area 5,200 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description National Chambal Gharial Sanctuary is one of the most important riverine sanctuaries of the country. It was created in 1978 specifically for the protection of the endangered aquatic reptile. Gharial Gavialis gangeticus. It extends over 650 km across the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. The area in question is a 26 km stretch of river between Jawaharsagar Dam and Kota Barrage. The river flows through a 100-150 m gorge. The evergreen flora of the valley is in marked contrast with the Anogeissus forest of the uplands. The vegetation of the Sanctuary mainly comprises of the riverine species along the coast of the river and the deciduous species in the region away from the river. Riverine species present near the waterline include Terminalia arjuna, Ficus glomerata and Syzygium cumini. The surrounding forest area is dominated by Anogeissus pendula, Boswellia serrata and Sterculia urens. (Satish K. Sharma pers. comm. 2003 )

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: About 150 bird species are reported from the site (Vyas 1998). Five species of vultures, four species of storks, Great Horned Owl Bubo bubo, Sarus Crane Grus antigone, Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis, Small Indian Pratincole Glareola lactea, and lapwings are some of the common residents. During winter, large congregations of Large Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, Brahminy Duck Tadorna ferruginea, and Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus may be seen. Approximately 150-200 nests of Long-billed Vulture Gyps indicus have been sighted from the area in the past but the present number is not known. Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus and Woolly-necked or White-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus have been recorded in the Sanctuary. In India, it is one of the most important sites for the breeding of Indian Skimmer.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Gharial Gavialis gangeticus and Marsh Crocodile Crocodylus palustris are common and the most important fauna after which the Sanctuary is named (Rao 1998). Red Crowned Roofed Terrapin Kachuga kachuga, Chitra Turtle Chitra indica, Ganges Soft Shell Aspideretes gangeticus and Small Indian Otter Lutra lutra constitute other important fauna. (Satish K. Sharma pers. comm. 2003).

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 
Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
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 near favourable medium
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Biological resource use fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Energy production and mining mining and quarrying happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high

Wetlands (inland)   0 0 moderate (70-90%) good (> 90%) near favourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
National Chambal Sanctuary 63,500 protected area contains site 5,200  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Wetlands (inland)   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism and recreation
water management -
Notes: Irrigation

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Rakesh Vyas and Satish K. Sharma.


Rao, R. J. (1998) Status of crocodiles and fresh water turtles in the Chambal river and Ganga river: A comparative analysis. Cobra 33: 31-34.

Vyas, R. (1998) Survey report of Wildlife of NCGS, submitted to Dept. of Forest, Govt. of Rajasthan and Indian Army.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary (Bundi/Kota). Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife