|Location||India, Uttar Pradesh|
|Central coordinates||82o 9.42' East 27o 44.30' North|
|Altitude||120 - 202m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2004|
Site description The Soheldev Wildlife Sanctuary lies in the Tulsipur tehsil of Balrampur district and Bhinga tehsil of Saravasti district along the Indo-Nepal border. The Sanctuary is approximately 120 km long and 6-8 km broad. Forest areas which constitute the Soheldev Wildlife Division were brought under Government control in 1967. Prior to 1952, only Tulsipur reserve forest of Gonda district and Soheldev reserve forest of Bahraich district were under Government control and the remaining forests were under the control of Balrampur Estate. Soheldev Wildlife Sanctuary was named after Raja Sohel Dev, the local King. The total area of the Sanctuary is 45,200 ha and buffer zone is 22,000 ha. This site has been selected as an IBA on the basis of A1 (Swamp Francolin) and A3 (Biome restricted species) criteria. Soheldev Wildlife Sanctuary falls in the Bhabhar area (lower foothills of the Himalaya). It is Sal Shorea robusta dominated forest, with Acacia catechu, Syzygium cumini, Terminalia tomentosa and grasses of the genera Vetiveria, Themeda, Arundo donax, Imperata and Saccharum. Calamus thickets are found along the river banks. Tectona grandis was planted by the Forest Department but since the Sanctuary was declared, planting has been stopped.
AVIFAUNA: Owing to great vegetation diversity, the area is a mosaic of diverse habitats, as a result of which faunal diversity is also high. About 40 species of mammals are found in the Sanctuary, but data on birds is lacking. There are a number of water reservoirs within the Sanctuary area, which harbour many waterbirds but a checklist is not available. This area has been listed as a Priority 3 grassland (Katkunya beat), considering the conservation requirements of the Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis (Rahmani and Islam, 2000). As the site has great potential to host threatened and biome species, it is designated as a Data Deficient site.
OTHER KEY FAUNA: Besides Tiger Panthera tigris, Spotted deer Axis axis, Sambar Cervus unicolor, Barking deer Muntiacus muntjak Hog deer Axis porcinus and Bluebul Boselaphus tragocamelus are found in the Sanctuary.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis||resident||2004||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Sohelwa||Sanctuary||45,247||is identical to site||45,247|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Artificial - aquatic||-|
|Artificial - terrestrial||-|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Nature conservation and research|
|Notes: Tourism and recreation|
|Notes: Water management|
Acknowledgements Key contributor: V. P. Singh.
Singh, V. P. (2002). Impact of fire on forest in Terai region. Pp. Report submitted to WWF-India.
Rahmani, A. R. and Islam, Z. A. (1997) 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 (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Soheldev Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/04/2015
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