Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary

Country/territory: India

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

Area: 412 ha

Bombay Natural History Society
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2003 not assessed high not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (2004 baseline)
Bhindawas Bird Sanctuary is the largest wetland in Haryana, spread over 412 ha, with a periphery of 12 km. An area of 513 ha has been declared as a sanctuary for the protection of waterfowl. The Sanctuary is located in Rohtak district about 80 km west of Delhi. The villages Kanawah, Nawada, Shajadpur, Chadwana and Redhuwas surround the Sanctuary, the village Bhindawas lies a little away from the Sanctuary. Eucalyptus, Acacia, Azadirachta and Zizyphus are planted around the lake. Cormorants, egrets and storks use them for roosting and nesting. Bhindawas wetlands harbour all the vegetation found in a typical wetland of the Gangetic plains, including submerged Hydrilla, and Typha on the fringes.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: A total of 265 species of birds have been recorded in the Sanctuary (S. C. Sharma and B. Harvey pers. comm. 2003). In good years, the lake has attracted over 30,000 birds on passage and in winter. Wildfowl are particularly significant and include in recent years, large flocks of Barheaded Goose Anser indicus (up to 830) and Greylag Goose A. anser (up to 1,320). Ducks such as Mallard Anas platyrhynchos, Red-crested Pochard Rhodonessa rufina, Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca and Baer’s Pochard A. baeri were recorded 2001-2003. The Greater Spotted Aquila clanga and Imperial Eagle A. heliaca winter regularly. Subject to water conditions, large flocks of Great White Pelicans Pelecanus onocrotalus, Glossy Ibis Plegadis falcinellus, Blackheaded Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus, Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia and Greater Flamingos Phoenicopterus ruber can be seen. Equally important is the breeding colony of up to 5,000 pairs of herons, egrets and cormorants, which include 20 pairs of Darters Anhinga melanogaster and up to 120 pairs of Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo roosting in the Eucalyptus trees. Two pairs of Sarus Cranes Grus antigone and a pair of Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus are resident and the former have been breeding in recent years. An important recent addition is Haryana’s largest known colony of the Sind Sparrow Passer pyrrhonotus (S. C. Sharma and B. Harvey pers. comm. 2003). Beside fulfilling A1 and A4iii criteria, this site also fulfils A4i (1% population threshold) criteria, as biogeographic populations of many species would be much more than the 1% population threshold determined by the Wetlands International (2002). For example, Wetlands International (2002) estimates that the total population of Bar-headed Goose is between 52,000 and 60,000, and taking average of these numbers, 1% population would be 560. In Bhindawas, more than 800 are seen. Similarly, the nonbreeding population of Greylag Goose (subspecies rubrirostris), which breeds in Central Asia and winters in Central and South Asia, is about 15,000 and 1% is 150. Almost 10% of this population is seen in Bhindawas. Beside the usual ducks and geese found in the Gangetic plains, Bhindawas has a unique distinction that some uncommon (in India) birds were also seen here. For instance, Greater Whitefronted Goose Anser albifrons, rare winter vagrant, was noted by S. C. Sharma and B. Harvey (in litt. 2002). They also reported sighting of a Lesser White-fronted Goose Anser erythropus by Nirmal Ghosh. Possibly, these birds are found in many more wetlands but over-looked. The Demoiselle Crane Grus virgo is a rare passage migrant through Bhindawas, while the Common Crane Grus grus winters here in small numbers. One species that is of global concern is the Pallas’s Fish Eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus (BirdLife International 2001). Formerly, it was a rare winter visitor to Bhindawas but there is no recent record (S. C. Sharma and H. Harvey in litt. 2003). This species has disappeared from many wetlands, either as a breeding bird (e.g. Keoladeo NP in Rajasthan) or as winter migrant. In Haryana, it is reported only from one site in recent years, i.e. Sultanpur National Park, although historically it had been reported from Ambala, Hissar and other areas (BirdLife International 2001, and the reference therein).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: As the wetland is surrounded by agricultural fields and villages, there is no large mammal of conservation concern. Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus, Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Common Mongoose Herpestes edwardsi, and Black-naped Hare Lepus nigricollis are some of the mammals reported from this Sanctuary.

Key contributors: Bill Harvey, Suresh C. Sharma, and members of the Delhibird Club.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 25/09/2023.