|Most recent IBA monitoring assessment|
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Bakhira Bird Sanctuary came into existence in 1990. This sanctuary is situated in Sant Kabir Nagar district, recently carved out of district Basti. It consists of Bakhira Tal extending over Gram Samaj land, agricultural land and reserve forest land. The total area of the Sanctuary is 2894 ha, of which 1819 ha is Gram Samaj land, 1059 ha is agricultural land and 15 ha is Reserve Forest area. The Gram Samaj land forms the core zone of the Sanctuary, which contains the main water body. It is one of the important wetlands of eastern Uttar Pradesh and provides wintering and staging grounds for a large number of migratory birds and a breeding ground for resident birds, such as Purple Moorhen or Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio.
AVIFAUNA: Between 40,000 to 80,000 waterbirds visit this wetland during winter, the prominent species being Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina, Northern Pintail Anas acuta and Northern Shoveller Anas clypeata. The population of Sarus Grus antigone is not yet estimated, but the area is known to be a congregation site (100-150 Sarus, Gopi Sundar pers. comm. 2003). This site qualifies A1 and A4iii criteria. Detailed research on avifauna has not been conducted, so we do not have a complete bird checklist. Once we have results from a good study, the A1 list is likely to increase. According to Tripathy (2002), 23 species of waterfowl are found in this wetland, including more than 5,000 Purple Moorhens. This is a common and widespread species, but there are not many sites in India where such a large breeding population of this bird is found.
OTHER KEY FAUNA: As the Sanctuary is surrounded by human habitation, there is no large wild mammal in the area. Smaller mammals seen are Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Jungle Cat Felis chaus and Small Indian Mongoose Herpestes javanicus. Not much is known about the reptiles, amphibians and fish of this Sanctuary.
BirdLife International (2018) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/06/2018.