Farakka Barrage and adjoining area

Country/territory: India

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

Area: 2,000 ha

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

Site description (2004 baseline)
Farakka Barrage, constructed in 1974-75 over the River Ganga, about 20 km from the border of Bangladesh has created a large reservoir, which stores water for irrigation. The overall span of the barrage is 1,200 m. The proposed IBA site starts from Farakka Barrage up to the Manikchak Ghat of Malda district (West Bengal). The maximum depth of water near the barrage is 25 m. From the onset of winter, the water starts to recede in the river and several chaurs or riverine islets emerge. The birds use these chaurs for day roosting and other diurnal activities. Around mid-February, as the chaurs reach a considerable size, the villagers of nearby villages reclaim them for agricultural purposes. On some chaurs, large reed beds are present that are used by migratory terrestrial birds such as reed warblers for foraging and roosting.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: Nearly 70 species of birds have been reported from this IBA (Samiran Jha in litt. 2002).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: The area supports a healthy population of the highly endangered Gangetic Dolphin Platanista gangetica (Sinha 2000). Other major species of conservation concern are Gharial Gavialis gangeticus, Marsh Crocodile Crocodylus palustris and Otters Lutra spp.

Key contributor: Samiran Jha.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Farakka Barrage and adjoining area. Downloaded from on 23/02/2024.