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Location India, Uttar Pradesh
Central coordinates 78o 8.78' East  29o 32.47' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 207,300 ha
Altitude 100 - 120m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society



Site description Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary lies along the banks of the Ganga in Western Uttar Pradesh. The Sanctuary was established mainly to accord protection to Swamp Deer Cervus duvauceli duvauceli, the state animal of Uttar Pradesh, and to conserve the fast vanishing, unique biome, locally known as Gangetic Khadar. It is unique in that it contains a variety of landforms and habitat types such as wetland, marshes, dry sand beds and gently sloping ravines known as Khola. Till a few decades ago (before 1980s), the Gangetic Khadar had extensive tracts of tall wet and dry grass, and Khola had luxuriant forests. However, today (2000s) much of the natural vegetation has been lost due to industries, human settlements and cultivation. Thus, the so-called Sanctuary is a highly disturbed protected area. Charaching is rampant and man-animal conflicts abound. A large number of wild animals from the Sanctuary get electrocuted by the live electric wire fences that farmers have erected around their fields to save their crops. As a result, once abundant populations of mammalian species such as the Swamp Deer and Hog Deer Axis porcinus have become severely fragmented and several other species such as the Grey Wolf Canis lupus, Hyena Hyaena hyaena and Leopard Panthera pardus have disappeared altogether, at least from the limits of the Sanctuary. In spite of all this, the remaining grassland patches still hold a variety of flora, avifauna and populations of Swamp Deer and Hog Deer. The vegetation of the Sanctuary can be classified into tall wet grasslands, dry short grasslands, scrub and plantations (Nawab 2000).

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Nearly 180 bird species have been reported from the site (Nawab 2000). Large congregations of water birds can be seen during winter. The Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans has established several colonies. The Sarus Crane Grus antigone can be seen regularly throughout the Sanctuary and breed here (A. Khan pers. comm. 2002). The Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis is seen in winter. Rai (1979) reported 28 individuals of globally threatened Yellow Weaver or Finn’s Baya Ploceus megarhynchus from this site in June 1979 but none were located in July 1998 (Bhargava 2000) or subsequently (R. Bhargava pers. comm. 2002). Similarly, there are unconfirmed reports of Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis (Salim Javed pers. comm. 2001). The habitat is still suitable for both these species. Information on the threatened species from this site is still lacking, detailed surveys are required to determine the status of various bird species.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: The mammalian fauna of the Sanctuary includes the famous Swamp Deer, for which it was established. Its habitat is shared by Hog Deer. In the drier parts of the Sanctuary, and in agricultural areas, Nilgai or Bluebul Boselaphus tragocamelus is present, sometimes in large herds. Along with the Wild Boar Sus scrofa, it is the main agricultural pest. Blackbuck Antilope cervicapra, an antelope of dry grasslands, is found in some places. Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Jungle Cat Felis chaus, and Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus are also reported, but being nocturnal they are rarely seen. The River Ganga, around which this Sanctuary has been established, still harbours the highly endangered Gangetic Dolphin Platanista gangetica.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Sarus Crane Antigone antigone resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Yellow Weaver Ploceus megarhynchus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Hastinapur Sanctuary 207,300 is identical to site 207,300  

Habitats

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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Afifullah Khan.

References 

Bhargava, R. (2000) A preliminary survey of the western population of Finn’s Weaver in Kumaon terai, Uttar Pradesh, Northern India. Oriental Bird Club Bull. 32: 21-29.

Khan, A. (1995) Status and conservation problems of Swamp Deer in Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary. Technical Report No. 2. Wildlife Society of India. Pp 30.

Khan, A. (1996) Swamp Deer in Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary. A preliminary report. The Wildlifer 1 (2): 1-3.

Nawab, A. (2000) Plant species composition and structure of Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary, U. P. India. M.Sc. Dissertation, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, (India).

Rai, Y. M. (1979) Finn’s Weaver breeding at Meerut. Newsletter for Birdwatchers 19(7): 11.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 27/11/2014

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