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Location India, Uttar Pradesh
Central coordinates 83o 43.67' East  27o 17.65' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 42,820 ha
Altitude 95 - 103m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Sohagibarwa Wildlife Sanctuary lies in Maharajganj and Deoria districts of Uttar Pradesh. The total area of the Sanctuary is 42,820 ha. This area has been listed as a Priority III grassland (Matholia, Nichlaul) considering the conservation requirements of the typical fauna of the terai region (Rahmani and Islam 2000). The Sanctuary is divided into 7 zones for conservation and management of the wild flora and fauna. These are: core zone (7098.5 ha), administrative zone (29.07 ha), buffer zone (33518 ha), multiple use zone, tourism zone (9362.9 ha), education and awareness zone and research zone. The importance of this Sanctuary is enhanced by the presence of a waterbody called Singhrana Taal, in Chowk Range, which attracts hundreds of waterfowl (Rahmani 1988).

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: No detailed study has been conducted on the bird life of this interesting Sanctuary, except for surveys by Rahmani et al. (1990) in search of the Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis, and later by Javed in search of Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis. Although, the Bengal Florican was not sighted, some grassland in Compartment No. 16 of Nagwa and Compartment No. 31 of Sunari blocks are still good florican habitat. These adjoining blocks constitute about 260 hectares. Though half of the grassland has already been planted by the Forest Department, the remaining area has perfect grass cover for florican. Sohagibarwa is connected with Valmikinagar Tiger Reserve (an IBA) in Bihar, and Royal Chitwan National Park in Nepal (where the Bengal Florican is still found: BirdLife International, 2001). So there is still a chance that if the grassland habitat is protected, this endangered florican could reappear in Sohagibarwa. For this reason, the sanctuary has been designated as an IBA. Another reason for designating it as an IBA is the presence of Sarus Crane Grus antigone. Rahmani (1988) counted 45-50 Sarus in May 1988 in Singhrana Taal. The crane may have congregated in this wetland, located deep inside the forest, because most of the smaller wetlands had dried up due to summer heat. A pair of Blacknecked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus was also seen, along with a juvenile. During winter, Singhrana Taal attracts hundreds of ducks and geese.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Sohagibarwa was declared a wildlife sanctuary to protect the large mammalian fauna of the terai and bhabhar forest types of Uttar Pradesh, such as Tiger Panthera tigris and Leopard Panthera pardus, and their prey, Chital Axis axis, Sambar Cervus unicolor, Hog Deer Axis porcinus, and Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak. Despite fragmentation and encroachment of forest corridors, Sohagibarwa WLS is tenuously connected with the much larger Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar, and the Royal Chitwan National Park in Nepal, so, there could be some movement of animals.

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 
Sarus Crane Antigone antigone resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 

IBA Monitoring

2013 medium favourable medium
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - nomadic grazing happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Forest   0 0 good (> 90%) good (> 90%) favourable

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  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Sohagibarwa Sanctuary 42,820 is identical to site 42,820  


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

Land use

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

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Asad R. Rahmani and Zafar-ul Islam.


BirdLife International (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: The BirdLife Red Data Book. BirdLife International. Cambridge, U.K.

Rahmani, A. R. (1988) Singhrana Taal. Hornbill (1): 5-7.

Rahmani, A. R., Narayan, G., Rosalind, L. and Sankaran, R. (1990) Status of the Bengal Florican in India. In: Status and Ecology of the Lesser and Bengal Floricans: Final Report. (Anonymous). Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay. Pp 55-78.

Rahmani, A. R. and Islam, Z. A. (2000) Prioritization of the Indian Grasslands for Conservation of Biodiversity. In: Setting Biodiversity Priorities for India (eds. Singh, S., Sastry, A. R. K., Mehta, R. and Uppal, V.) WWF-India, New Delhi. Pp. 169-175.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Sohagibarwa Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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