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Location India, Rajasthan
Central coordinates 74o 46.00' East  26o 18.00' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 17,134 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Sonkhaliya is one of the few sites which provides shelter to the Great Indian Bustard (Rahmani & Manakadan 1983; Rahmani 1987). During the few surveys done in the latter half of 1980s, the population of this bird was estimated to be c. 1,500-2,000 for the whole country, with Rajasthan holding more than half (Rahmani 1986, 1987). Sonkhaliya held a population of more than 80 bustards (Rahmani and Manakadan 1988). It is one of the preferred Bustard areas as it is more or less plain with crop fields and highly degraded scrub forest. The main natural flora of the site consists of species of Prosopis, Acacia, Capparis. Cultivated crops are also present.

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 
Lesser Florican Sypheotides indicus resident  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Sarus Crane Antigone antigone resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
White-browed Bushchat Saxicola macrorhynchus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Asad R. Rahmani and R. S. Rathore.


Bhushan, B. and Rahmani, A. R. (1992) Food and feeding behaviour of the Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 89(1): 27-40.

Rahmani, A. R. (1986) Status of the Great Indian Bustard in Rajasthan. Technical Report No. 11, Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay. Pp 34

Rahmani, A. R. (1987) Protection for the Great Indian Bustard. Oryx 21: 174 - 179.

Rahmani, A. R. (1989) The Great Indian Bustard: Final Report. Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay. Pp 234.

Rahmani, A. R. and Manakadan, R. (1983) Present Status of Great Indian Bustards. Bustard Studies 3: 123-131.

Rahmani, A. R. and Manakadan R. (1988) Bustard Sanctuaries of India: Strategies for their conservation and management. Technical Report No. 13, Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay. Pp. 27.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sonkhaliya Closed Area. Downloaded from on 26/10/2014

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