Indus plains

Country/Territory India,Iran, Islamic Republic of,Pakistan
Area 0 km2
Altitude 0 - 0m
Priority -
Habitat loss -
Knowledge -

General characteristics

The Indus and its tributaries in Pakistan and small adjacent areas of India and south-east Iran constitute a Secondary Area (see map, p. 412), defined by the range of Sind Sparrow Passer pyrrhonotus. The region was formerly considered to be an EBA (ICBP 1992), but taxonomic changes have led to the loss of one restricted-range species: the western (nominate) form of Rufous-vented Prinia Prinia burnesii is now treated as conspecific with the eastern form cinerascens, following Sibley and Monroe (1993).

The wetlands along the Indus have been subject to rapid change in recent years, as a result of drainage and an increased intensity of cultivation adjacent to the main river banks, which has led to a loss of marshland and riverine forest. New wetlands, often with extensive reedbeds, have been created in some areas by seepage from irrigation canals, particularly around irrigation barrage headwaters. Increased tree-planting along canals and roadsides has created new habitat for a number of species, including Passer pyrrhonotus which has increased remarkably (Roberts 1991). However, several more-widespread threatened wetland species which occur in this area may have been negatively affected, including breeding Pallas's Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus, Jerdon's Babbler Chrysomma altirostre, Rufous-vented Prinia Prinia burnesii, Bristled Grass-warbler Chaetornis striatus, wintering Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus, Marbled Teal Marmaronetta angustirostris and White-headed Duck Oxyura leucocephala (all classified as Vulnerable). A total of four protected areas lie in or near this Secondary Area, of which at least one, Manglot, has some habitat suitable for the restricted-range and threatened birds (see IUCN 1990, 1992c).

Restricted-range species

Species IUCN Category
Sind Sparrow (Passer pyrrhonotus) LC

Important Bird Areas (IBAs)
IBA Code Site Name Country
PK015 Indus Waterfowl Refuge Pakistan
PK026 Taunsa Barrage Wildlife Sanctuary Pakistan
PK027 Rangla wetland complex Pakistan

Threat and conservation

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Endemic Bird Areas factsheet: Indus plains. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 16/10/2021.