|Location||India, West Bengal|
|Central coordinates||87o 52.83' East 25o 58.00' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4iii|
|Year of IBA assessment||2004|
Site description The Kulik (Raiganj) Sanctuary is an artificial plantation of Dry Deciduous Forest, around a U-shaped canal. During monsoon the canal gets connected with the Kulik river which marks the eastern and southern boundary of the Sanctuary. National Highway 34 passes through the Sanctuary, dividing it into two halves. The U-shaped canal has created a small island-like area in the middle of the Sanctuary, which is the main breeding ground for birds. This area is a preferred habitat for heronry species (Jha and Sengupta 1999). Around this artificial waterbody, the Forest Department has planted Anthocephalus cadamba, Lagerstroemia reginae, Dalbergia sissoo, Eucalyptus sp. and Barringtonia sp. (S. Jha, in litt. 2002).
AVIFAUNA: The Sanctuary, although an artificially planted forest, holds perhaps the largest nesting colony of Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans (Jha and Sengupta 1999) in India. More than 11,000 nests were recorded in 1999. According to Wetlands International (2002), the total breeding population of this species is >1,25,000, and the 1% threshold is 1,250. Thus about 10% of the breeding population is found in this Sanctuary. The population of Asian Openbill has increased dramatically. For example, Shahi (1983) has seen 3,956 nests in 1981, and he estimated a population of about 15,800 storks (parents and two chicks in each nests). He also counted 1,030 nests of Black-crowned Night Herons Nycticorax nycticorax, and estimated a population of about 4,000 Night Herons. His estimates of other species are 3,000 egrets and 2,700 Little Cormorants Phalacrocorax niger. Around 127 species of birds have been recorded from the area (S. Jha, in litt. 2002). Kulik is one of the most important heronries in India (Subramanya 1996).
OTHER KEY FAUNA: The fauna does not include any species of much significance except for some Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Jungle Cat Felis chaus, Roofed Turtle Kachuga dhongoka, and Yellow Monitor Lizard Varanus flavescens.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus||resident||2004||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans||-||2004||present||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus||resident||2004||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis||non-breeding||2004||present||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Indian Vulture Gyps indicus||non-breeding||2004||present||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||unknown||2004||20,000 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Raiganj||Sanctuary||130||is identical to site||130|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Nature conservation and research|
Acknowledgements Key contributor: Samiran Jha.
Jha, S. and Sengupta, S. (1999) Proposed IBA Sites of Malda and Uttar Dinajpur report. Green Peoples India, Malda. Pp. 8.
Shahi, S. P. (1983) A little known Bird Sanctuary. Hornbill 1983 (2): 30-32.
Subramanya, S. (1996) Distribution, Status and Conservation of Indian Heronries. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 93 (3): 459-486.
Wetlands International (2002) Waterbirds Population Estimates: Third Edition. Wetlands International Global Series No. 12. Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kulik (Raiganj) Bird Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/12/2014
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