Patna Bird Sanctuary

Country/territory: India

IBA criteria met: A1, A4i, A4iii (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 109 ha

Bombay Natural History Society
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) Threat (pressure) Condition (state) Action (response)
2003 medium not assessed not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (baseline)
Patna Bird Sanctuary (WLS) is about 6 km from Jalesar town in Etah district on the Jalesar-Sikandrarao road.An area of 108 ha was declared as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1991 under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 (Rahmani and Daniel 1997). It is a typical rainfed wetland of the Gangetic plains, being a natural, freshwater, shallow depression. The shallow parts of the Sanctuary dry up during summer, leaving some puddles in the deeper zones. Patna WLS is a classic example of how, within a few years of protection, a long-neglected wetland can become one of the finest wetland habitats of the country. Date palm Phoenix silvestris in the central part of the Sanctuary is one of the most conspicuous features of this IBA. Aquatic vegetation consists of Hydrilla verticillata, Ceratophyllum demersum, Vallisneria spiralis, Potamogeton crispus, and Najas sp., while surface vegetation consists of Salvinia, Azolla, and Eichhornia crassipes. On the fringes of the wetlands, Ipomea carnea grows in excess and needs control. Ipomea aquatica is also spreading, but it may not be as dangerous as I. carnea. While Nymphoides cristata and N. indica occur naturally, Singhara Trapa natans is cultivated in a small part of the wetland.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: About 180 species of birds have been reported from the Sanctuary (Rahmani and Daniel, 1997, Ahmad and Javed 2000). Of the 42 species of Family Anatidae from the Indian subcontinent (Ali and Ripley 1987), 18 species have been reported from the Sanctuary. Among these, Comb Duck Sarkidiornis melanotos, Cotton Teal or Cotton Pygmy-Goose Nettapus coromandelianus, Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanica and Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhyncha are the resident species. During the peak of winter in December and January, 60-70,000 waterfowl are found in the Patna wetland. Rosy Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus, Lesser Flamingo Phoenicopterus minor, Greater Flamingo P. roseus, White or Black-headed Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus, Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus, Curlew Numenius arquata, Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia, Osprey Pandion haliaetus, Mallard Anas platyrhynchos, Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus and Darter Anhinga melanogaster are some of the main attractions of this IBA. Anatidae is the most abundant among all the families recorded. Northern Pintail Anas acuta is most numerous, with about 52,000 individuals during the peak time in one monitoring (Ahmad and Javed 2000). This was followed by Common Pochard Aythya ferina 12,000; Gadwal Anas strepera 5,500; Northern Shoveller A. clypeata 4,200; and Garganey A. querquedula 1,700. Most of these figures are above 1% biogeographical population threshold of these species (Wetlands International, 2002). Among the Phalacrocoracidae, Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger is abundant, with about 500 individuals, followed by Large Cormorant P. carbo, and Darter. Coot Fulica atra is also abundant, with about 6,300 birds at one census (Ahmad and Javed 2000). During summer, when most of the smaller wetlands become completely dry, a large number of Sarus cranes Grus antigone, sometimes numbering between 200 to 300, congregate in Patna jheel, where some water is left in deeper parts, which serve as an important refuge for this species during the hot, dry summer. Richness and diversity of waterbirds are highest at the end of April. This is because, migratory birds converge at Patna WLS from other areas before the spring migration. It appears that Patna WLS is not only an important refuge but also a stopover site for winter migrants returning to their breeding quarters from peninsular and central India. Waders and other marsh species are far more abundant at the end of April. This is probably due to the development of more shallow areas as the water recedes during the late winter (Ahmed and Javed 2000).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Since the establishment of Patna Bird Sanctuary, and posting of forest officials, all the wildlife of the area has benefited from protection. Sighting of Golden Jackal Canis aureus and Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus is now quite common. Monitor Lizard Varanus bengalensis has also benefited and good numbers are seen on the terrestrial part of the Sanctuary.

Key contributors: Asad R. Rahmani, Salim Javed, Sangeeta and Ashfaq Ahmed.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Patna Bird Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 10/06/2023.