Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary

Country/territory: India

IBA Criteria met: A1 (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 207,300 ha

Protection status:

Bombay Natural History Society
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2003 high not assessed not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary lies along the banks of the Ganga in Western Uttar Pradesh. The Sanctuary was established mainly to accord protection to Swamp Deer Cervus duvauceli duvauceli, the state animal of Uttar Pradesh, and to conserve the fast vanishing, unique biome, locally known as Gangetic Khadar. It is unique in that it contains a variety of landforms and habitat types such as wetland, marshes, dry sand beds and gently sloping ravines known as Khola. Till a few decades ago (before 1980s), the Gangetic Khadar had extensive tracts of tall wet and dry grass, and Khola had luxuriant forests. However, today (2000s) much of the natural vegetation has been lost due to industries, human settlements and cultivation. Thus, the so-called Sanctuary is a highly disturbed protected area. Charaching is rampant and man-animal conflicts abound. A large number of wild animals from the Sanctuary get electrocuted by the live electric wire fences that farmers have erected around their fields to save their crops. As a result, once abundant populations of mammalian species such as the Swamp Deer and Hog Deer Axis porcinus have become severely fragmented and several other species such as the Grey Wolf Canis lupus, Hyena Hyaena hyaena and Leopard Panthera pardus have disappeared altogether, at least from the limits of the Sanctuary. In spite of all this, the remaining grassland patches still hold a variety of flora, avifauna and populations of Swamp Deer and Hog Deer. The vegetation of the Sanctuary can be classified into tall wet grasslands, dry short grasslands, scrub and plantations (Nawab 2000).

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: Nearly 180 bird species have been reported from the site (Nawab 2000). Large congregations of water birds can be seen during winter. The Asian Openbill Anastomus oscitans has established several colonies. The Sarus Crane Grus antigone can be seen regularly throughout the Sanctuary and breed here (A. Khan pers. comm. 2002). The Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis is seen in winter. Rai (1979) reported 28 individuals of globally threatened Yellow Weaver or Finn’s Baya Ploceus megarhynchus from this site in June 1979 but none were located in July 1998 (Bhargava 2000) or subsequently (R. Bhargava pers. comm. 2002). Similarly, there are unconfirmed reports of Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis (Salim Javed pers. comm. 2001). The habitat is still suitable for both these species. Information on the threatened species from this site is still lacking, detailed surveys are required to determine the status of various bird species.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: The mammalian fauna of the Sanctuary includes the famous Swamp Deer, for which it was established. Its habitat is shared by Hog Deer. In the drier parts of the Sanctuary, and in agricultural areas, Nilgai or Bluebul Boselaphus tragocamelus is present, sometimes in large herds. Along with the Wild Boar Sus scrofa, it is the main agricultural pest. Blackbuck Antilope cervicapra, an antelope of dry grasslands, is found in some places. Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Jungle Cat Felis chaus, and Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrinus are also reported, but being nocturnal they are rarely seen. The River Ganga, around which this Sanctuary has been established, still harbours the highly endangered Gangetic Dolphin Platanista gangetica.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 09/07/2020.