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Location India, Rajasthan
Central coordinates 74o 30.82' East  27o 52.00' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 790 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society



Site description Although Tal Chhapar Sanctuary in Churu District is famous for Blackbuck Antilope cervicapra, it is also popular with bird lovers. It is a flat saline depression, which used to get inundated during good rainfall years but after blockage of water channels of the Gopalpura hills and illegal establishment of salt works, the water regime has been changed and Tal Chhapar does not get as much water as it used to get. The Tal Chhapar was a hunting reserve of the Maharaja of Bikaner and it was famous for Blackbuck and Demoiselle Crane Grus virgo shoots. The Maharaja of Bikaner had 200 wooden life-size dummies of Demoiselle Cranes in various poses to hoodwink the wild cranes and induce them to come near the waiting guns (Rahamni 1997). The last crane shoot took place in 1962. The dominant species of trees are Prosopis cineraria, Zizyphus nummularia, Capparis decidua and a variety of grasses sedges, the most important sedge being Cyperus rotundus. The Sanctuary also supports salt-loving small bushes and grasses.

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 
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Indian Vulture Gyps indicus non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Tal Chhapper Sanctuary 790 is identical to site 790  

Habitats

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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism and recreation
urban/industrial/transport -
Notes: Salt mining (illegal)

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Asad R. Rahmani.

References 

Rahmani, A. R. (1984) Tal Chhaper Blackbuck Sanctuary.Hornbill 2: 36-37.

Rahmani, A. R. (1997) Wildlife of the Thar. World Wide Fund for Nature, New Delhi. Pp. 100.

Sharma, A. K.(1988) Harriers of Tal Chhapar Balckbuck Sanctuary, Rajasthan. Newsletter for Birdwatchers 28(11 & 12):Pp.5-6.

Sharma, A. K. and Singh, K. R.(1989) Tal Chhapar Blackbuck Sanctuary. Sanctuary Asia 9(2): 36-45.

Wetlands International (2002) Waterbirds Population Estimates: Third Edition. Wetlands International Global Series No. 12. Wageningen, The Netherlands.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Tal Chhapar Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/10/2014

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