email a friend
printable version
Location India, Uttar Pradesh
Central coordinates 84o 20.00' East  25o 45.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4iii
Area 3,432 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Surha Taal Wildlife Sanctuary is a natural rainfed lake, located north of Ballia town near village Rajpur in Ballia district. It has an area of 1,528 ha. Surha Taal is surrounded by agricultural fields. Eichhornia crassipes is the dominant weed, within and along the margins of the lake. An excellent water body serving as host to several migratory and resident bird fauna, this wetland has been listed as a high priority wetland of Level V, that is wetlands with high ecological and socio-economic potential but with poor data availability, in a prioritization of biological conservation sites in Indian wetlands (Samant 2000). Fishing is very common. Local farmers use the lake water for irrigation. Wetland vegetation is used as fodder for the domestic livestock and as domestic fuel.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: This Sanctuary is famous for its congregation of waterbirds during winter. Anatidae is the most numerous among all the families recorded, followed by Phalacrocoracidae, Jacanidae, and Ardeidae. According to the Forest Department, the number reaches 50,000 waterfowl during the migratory season (winter). Sarus crane Grus antigone is usually seen breeding in this Sanctuary. A complete checklist of birds is not available.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Not much information is available on other fauna. This wetland is supposed to be very important for its fish resources.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Sarus Crane Antigone antigone resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

IBA Monitoring

2003 very high not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) very rapid to severe deterioration low
Biological resource use fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Biological resource use gathering terrestrial plants - unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - unspecified species happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - abstraction of surface water (agricultural use) happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Surha Tal Sanctuary 3,432 is identical to site 3,432  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
fisheries/aquaculture -
Notes: Fishing
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature Conservation

Acknowledgements Key contributors: K. S. Gopi Sundar and V. P. Singh.


Samant, J. (2000) Prioritisation of Biological Conservation Sites of Indian Wetlands. In: Setting Biodiversity conservation priorities for India, (eds. S. Singh, A. R. K. Shastri, R. Mehta and V. Uppal). WWF-India, Pp. 155-167.

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Surha Tal Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife