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Location India, Uttar Pradesh
Central coordinates 81o 25.00' East  26o 0.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4iii
Area 799 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Samaspur Wildlife Sanctuary, with an area of about 800 ha of perennial wetland, is located in the Salon tehsil of Rae Bareily district. Salon wetland was renamed as Samaspur Bird Sanctuary in 1987. The lake is ‘S’ shaped, and comprises six small connected lakes namely Samaspur, Mamani, Mamani Gram Samaj, Gorwa Hasanpur, Hakganj and Rohania lakes. The seventh lake, Bissaiya is close by but not connected with the main waterbody. It also forms a part of the Sanctuary. Samaspur wetlands are perennial and receive water from rain (average 850 mm per annum) and from the terminal end of irrigation canals (Rahmani 1992). As they are depressions, water from surrounding areas is drained into these jheels. Of the 800 ha declared as Samarspur Bird Sanctuary, only about 207 ha is under water, the remaining area is dryland where the Forest Department has done some plantations. It also includes 271 ha of private land which has crop fields and orchards. These crops fields, orchards, wastelands (locally called usar) and pastures, along with jheels, create a mosaic of habitats that results in high bird species diversity. In one day of birdwatching in December 1987, 112 species were identified (Rahmani 1992).

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: This IBA plays hosts to more than 110 bird species. Among those recorded were 14 species of ducks, 13 species of waders, four species of storks and 10 species of raptors. Ducks and waders were seen in thousands. About 80,000 waterfowl were estimated during a visit in 1987 (Rahmani 1992). Many of these species occur in much higher numbers than their 1% biogeographic population threshold, recently calculated by the Wetlands International (2002) on the basis of total biogeographic populations of waterbirds. A pair each of Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus and Pallas’s Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus regularly breeds in this Sanctuary (Rahmani 1992). Despite Samaspur jheels being such an important bird refuge of northern India, detailed work has not been conducted on the bird life of this site.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: More than 10 fish species of economic importance are reported from this Sanctuary (Rahmani 1992). As agricultural fields and villages surround the area, no large wild mammal presently of conservation concern is found here.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
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 areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Samaspur Sanctuary 799 is identical to site 799  


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

Land use

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

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Asad R. Rahmani.


Rahmani, A. R. (1992) The Wetlands of Uttar Pradesh – Part III. Newsletter for Birdwatchers 32 (1): 3-5.

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

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Samaspur Bird Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 18/04/2015

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