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Location India, Uttar Pradesh
Central coordinates 78o 59.00' East  27o 0.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4iii
Area 300 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description This waterbody is situated along the Karhal-Kishni highway in Mainpuri district, about 8 km from Karhal town. It is also approachable from Saiphai town to its west, via a smaller road. The marsh is situated just beside the village Kudaiyya and is formed by the flooding of a natural depression in the landscape. The most prominent feature of the marsh is the abundant growth of Typha that is clearly distinguishable even from a distance. Less than half of the water surface is open, but much of these areas are hidden from view by tall reeds. The wetland’s appearance changes dramatically in the monsoon, as it is filled with pink lotus flowers, which bloom in profusion. The principal source of water to the marsh is rain. However, it is connected to a tributary of the rightwing Ganga canal, and frequently gets water through this source throughout the year. Even when completely full during the monsoon, water depth in the wetland does not exceed 1.5 m in the deepest parts. For the most part, it is less than 0.5 m, and the marsh dries up in the peak summer month of June, before it is filled up by the rain water again in July. The marsh is overgrown with lilies, lotus, many sedges, grasses and aquatic plants, all of which give the impression that the water is clogged with vegetation. The single reason why this site is important is its function as a stop-over point for thousands of ducks, waders, and pelicans, both at the beginning and the end of the winter. Over 45 species use the lake for 2-3 days before moving on. During rest of the winter, a few hundred ducks stay back. The marsh is also the roosting area of a resident flock of over 200 Sarus Crane Grus antigone. In summer, this marsh is the only source of water for the farmers of the surrounding paddy fields till the monsoon arrives. During the monsoon and immediately afterwards, the lake supports impressive congregations of the Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanicus, Purple Moorhen or Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio, and Pheasant-tailed jacana Hydrophasianus chirurgus.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Birds are clearly the most important and conspicuous taxa to justify the conservation of this wetland. Between late October and early November, many flocks of wintering waterbirds stop over at this site before continuing their southbound journey. Counts of ducks during 2000 and 2001 ranged from 45,000 - 65,000. The principal duck species were Northern Pintail Anas acuta, Common teal Anas crecca, Wigeon Anas penelope, some Coot Fulica atra and Redcrested Pochard Netta rufina. The most common wader species that uses this wetland as a stopover site is the Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa; one flock in the year 2000 numbered 4,000 (Gopi Sunder pers. comm. 2003). The largest flock of the Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus counted in this marsh numbered 300 individuals in the winter of 2001. Over 150 species of birds have been sighted in and along the wetland, and include bitterns, crakes, moorhens, lapwings, spoonbills, and wagtails (Gopi Sunder pers. comm. 2003). Apart from the congregation of 200 Sarus Cranes (Gopi Sunder 2001) the wetland is also home to a minimum of eight breeding pairs of this species, most of which were able to raise at least one chick a year between 1999-2002; a minimum of 13 young Sarus dispersed from these territories in this period (Gopi Sunder pers. comm. 2003). Colour-banding of Sarus Crane chicks living in the area indicated that the territory sizes of these pairs were much smaller than the average for the region, indicating better territory quality for these cranes. One breeding pair of Black-necked Storks Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus uses this marsh as part of its territory, and has been seen to breed successfully in 1999 and 2001. The largest count of the Lesser Whistling teal in the wetland was 15,000 in October 2000.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Other fauna that inhabit the wetland include a very healthy population of the Soft-shelled Turtle Lissemys punctata and a few Pond Terrapins Geoclemys hamiltonii. Signs of Common Otter Lutra lutra can be frequently obtained around the wetland, but they are decidedly rare. A thriving population of Jungle Cat Felis chaus lives among the reeds the year round.

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

2003 very high not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) very rapid to severe deterioration low
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - abstraction of ground water (agricultural use) likely in long term (beyond 4 years) whole area/population (>90%) very rapid to severe deterioration high
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - abstraction of surface water (agricultural use) happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - nutrient loads happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) very rapid to severe deterioration very high


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

Land use

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

Acknowledgements Key contributor: K. S. Gopi Sunder.


Gopi Sunder, K. S. (2001) Where the Sarus duet. Sanctuary Asia (5): 62 -67.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Kudaiyya marshland. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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