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Location India, Uttar Pradesh
Central coordinates 77o 45.00' East  27o 0.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4iii
Area 403 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Sur Sarovar, more popularly known as Keetham Lake, was declared as a bird sanctuary in 1991, with an area of approximately 400 ha. It is about 17 km from Agra. The lake is owned by the Irrigation Department. Earlier, drinking water was supplied to Agra from Keetham Lake, but now it is piped to the Mathura Refinery, about 24 km away. The river Jamuna flows about 500 m to the northeast. Keetham Lake was named Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, after the great blind poet Surdas, who lived nearby nearly 500 years ago. The waterbody covers 300 ha and the surrounding buffer zone 400 ha. We have considered the whole waterbody and some surrounding areas as an IBA. Water Hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes covers much of the open waterbody. Many grasses and Ipomoea species cover the banks. Large trees are found on the islands in the lake, which support the heronry. The surrounding area is overgrown with Prosopis chilensis.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus 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)  
Sur Sarovar Sanctuary 403 is identical to site 403  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - aquatic   -
Artificial - terrestrial   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism and recreation
water management -
Notes: Water management

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Asad R. Rahmani and K. S. Gopi Sundar.


Rahmani, A. R. and Arora, V. M. (1991) Wetlands of Uttar Pradesh – Part I. Newsletter for Birdwatchers. 31(7 & 8): 4-5.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 26/10/2014

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