Kanjli Lake

Year of compilation: 2004

Site description
Kanjli wetland, recently declared as Ramsar Site in February 2002, is located on Kali Bein river, an important tributary of Beas river. It is about 4 km from the famous ancient town, Kapurthala. It is a very old lake and came into existence in 1870 when a barrage was constructed on Kali Bein river. Basically, it is an irrigation reservoir. As water is used up for agricultural purposes, the water level goes down, thus attracting thousands of waterfowl and waders. It is about 20 km from Harike Lake, another IBA. The wetland is rich in aquatic flora, especially Phragmites and Typha. The River Bein has great religious significance as it is associated with the most revered Sikh Guru, Shri Guru Nanak Devji. Although it a very old wetland, conservation measures were started only about 15 years ago. A Five Year Plan for conservation of this wetland was prepared in 1998-99.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: Not much is known about the bird life of this important site but the birds are not very different from nearby Harike Lake (an IBA). According to WWF (undated), this wetland attracts a large number of resident and migratory birds, and it also acts as an important staging ground for long distance migratory birds. About 50 species of birds have been reported. The waterfowl consists of Northern Pintail Anas acuta, Northern Shoveller Anas clypeata, Mallard Anas platyrhynchos, Common teal Anas crecca, Wigeon Anas strepera, Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula, and White-eyed Pochard or Ferruginous Pochard Aythya nyroca. Total number of birds could reach 20,000 figures.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: As this wetland is surrounded by human habitation, there is not much of large terrestrial fauna, except for an occasional Golden Jackal Canis aureus.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
MAIN THREATS: Poaching; Encroachment; Invasive species (Water hyacinth).

Like in Harike, Kanjli wetlands also suffers from the bane of invasive Water Hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes. Manual removal has been attempted, with unsatisfactory results as this pernicious weed flows in with the river water. As the wetland is surrounded by agricultural fields and human habitation, encroachment has been another threat. The Government of Punjab has now fenced the area to prevent further encroachment. Charaching of ducks is also a major problem but it can be controlled with effective patrolling and conservation education in the surrounding villages.

Key contributor: Satnam Singh Ladhar.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kanjli Lake. Downloaded from on 27/03/2023.