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Location India, Uttar Pradesh
Central coordinates 83o 0.00' East  26o 35.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4iii
Area 2,894 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Bakhira Bird Sanctuary came into existence in 1990. This sanctuary is situated in Sant Kabir Nagar district, recently carved out of district Basti. It consists of Bakhira Tal extending over Gram Samaj land, agricultural land and reserve forest land. The total area of the Sanctuary is 2894 ha, of which 1819 ha is Gram Samaj land, 1059 ha is agricultural land and 15 ha is Reserve Forest area. The Gram Samaj land forms the core zone of the Sanctuary, which contains the main water body. It is one of the important wetlands of eastern Uttar Pradesh and provides wintering and staging grounds for a large number of migratory birds and a breeding ground for resident birds, such as Purple Moorhen or Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Between 40,000 to 80,000 waterbirds visit this wetland during winter, the prominent species being Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina, Northern Pintail Anas acuta and Northern Shoveller Anas clypeata. The population of Sarus Grus antigone is not yet estimated, but the area is known to be a congregation site (100-150 Sarus, Gopi Sundar pers. comm. 2003). This site qualifies A1 and A4iii criteria. Detailed research on avifauna has not been conducted, so we do not have a complete bird checklist. Once we have results from a good study, the A1 list is likely to increase. According to Tripathy (2002), 23 species of waterfowl are found in this wetland, including more than 5,000 Purple Moorhens. This is a common and widespread species, but there are not many sites in India where such a large breeding population of this bird is found.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: As the Sanctuary is surrounded by human habitation, there is no large wild mammal in the area. Smaller mammals seen are Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Jungle Cat Felis chaus and Small Indian Mongoose Herpestes javanicus. Not much is known about the reptiles, amphibians and fish of this Sanctuary.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Sarus Crane Antigone antigone resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2012 very high unfavourable medium
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Biological resource use fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - unintentional effects (species is not the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Pollution domestic & urban waste water - type unknown/unrecorded happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high

Wetlands (inland)   0 0 moderate (70-90%) moderate (70-90%) unfavourable

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  Unknown  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Bakhira Sanctuary 2,894 is identical to site 2,894  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature Conservation
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Sarat Chandra Tripathy, V. P. Singh and K. S. Gopi Sundar.


Tripathy, S. C. (2002) Bakhira Bird Sanctuary: The Heaven of Purple Moorhen. Wildlife Institute of India Newsletter Vol. 9.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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