|Location||India, Uttar Pradesh|
|Central coordinates||80o 40.00' East 26o 35.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4iii|
|Year of IBA assessment||2004|
Site description The Nawabganj Priyadarshini Bird Sanctuary is located on the Kanpur-Lucknow highway, 45 km east of Lucknow, near the village Nawabganj in Hasanganj tehsil of Unnao district. The sanctuary has an interesting history. Till 1974, it was an open, shallow wetland, which attracted thousands of waterfowl and many hunters and trappers. These waterfowl used to be supplied to the bird markets of Lucknow, Kanpur, Nawabganj, Unnao and other nearby towns. In 1972, the Indian government enacted the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, which totally prohibited shooting and trapping of wildfowl. In 1974, the Forest Department declared Nawabganj as a sanctuary and took over the land. To make it “more attractive to birds”, they planted thousands of trees and built mounds as in the Keoladeo National Park at Bharatpur (Rajasthan). For the first few years, the wildfowl population increased dramatically, and storks, cormorants, egrets, and darters started breeding on the trees growing on mounds. This further encouraged the Forest Department to go on a plantation binge. A 5 km road was constructed circling the Sanctuary, motels and hotels came up and tourism was encouraged. Livestock grazing was totally stopped to prevent “trampling of nests”.There were plans to maintain the water level throughout the year. Large-scale plantation and the ban on grazing resulted in accumulation of biomass, which decreased the depth of the wetland. Slowly this open sheet of water became choked with vegetation. Gone were the skeins of Barheaded Geese Anser indicus and Greylag Geese A. anser and huge flocks of Northern Pintail Anas acuta, Garganey A. querquedula, Northern Shoveller A. clypeata, and Gadwall A. strepera. The wetland that was maintained by grazing and occasional drying is now a small puddle, totally choked with Water Hyacinth and other vegetation. The Forest Department regularly attempts to clear the vegetation, but unless the earlier water regime is restored, it will be difficult to bring back the glory of this important waterfowl refuge, a victim of poor management. The jheel is fed by monsoon run-off and has an average depth of 1.0-1.5 m at maximum water levels. The water level fluctuates considerably, and much of the lake dries out by early summer.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga||winter||2004||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Sarus Crane Antigone antigone||resident||2004||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||unknown||2004||20,000 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Nawabganj||Sanctuary||225||is identical to site||225|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Nature conservation and research|
|Notes: Tourism and recreation|
Acknowledgements Key contributor: Asad R. Rahmani.
Choudhury, B. C., Kaur, J. and Gopi Sunder, K. S. (1999) Sarus Crane Count-1999. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. Pp 23.
Rahmani, A. R. (1992) Wetlands of Uttar Pradesh - Part III. Newsletter for Birdwatchers, 32(1): 3-5.
Samant, J. S. (2000) Prioritisation of Biological Conservation Sites of Indian Wetlands. In: Setting Biodiversity conservation priorities for India, (eds. S. Singh, A. R. K. Sashtri, R. Mehta and V. Uppal). WWF-India, Pp. 155-167.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/08/2014
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