|Most recent IBA monitoring assessment|
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Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) was declared on 1 January 1973, and in 1988 it came under Project Tiger. The Sanctuary has four ranges - Bhira, Kishanpur, Mailanai and Pawayari. Along with Dudhwa and Katerniaghat (both IBAs), Kishanpur has one of the most important terai grasslands left in northern India. Before the Tiger Panthera tigris was declared a protected species, Kishanpur had some of the most coveted tiger shooting blocks in India. As the forest was managed for timber logging, plantation and shooting, Kishanpur has a good road network. Most of the grasslands have been planted over by the Forest Department with Shorea robusta, Tectona grandis, Syzygium cumini, Madhuca indica, Bombax ceiba, Acacia catechu and Eucalyptus. However, some low-lying grasslands (e.g. Jhadi taal) are still left, which are extremely important for the highly endangered Swamp Deer Cervus duvauceli and Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis. The open grasslands are called locally Chander or phanta. Most of them are present in the depressions representing the dry beds of old rivers (probably the Sharda). The orientation of these grasslands is the same as the slopes of the tract i.e., northwest to southeast and to the south. Based on cultural and social values, administrative importance, geographical and habitat representations, Rahmani and Islam (2000) have prioritised the grasslands of Kishanpur as Priority No. I.
AVIFAUNA: More than 250 species of birds are found in Kishanpur WLS (Rahmani unpubl. 2002), including the highly Endangered Bengal Florican (Rahmani 1996, 2001). Jhadi taal is an important site for wintering waterfowl, including the Vulnerable Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus and Sarus crane Grus antigone and the Near Threatened Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus. On every visit in the 1990s, a pair with 2-3 juveniles was seen in Jhadi taal (A. R. Rahmani, unpublished). It attracts up to 5,000 waterfowl, including flocks of 300-500 Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanicus, Greylag goose Anser anser, and assorted ducks. During monsoon, the whole Jhadi taal in under water, but the water recedes by October. From March onwards, two territorial male Bengal Floricans are seen. Two or three males are sometimes seen in Burgad Chowki grasslands (Rahmani, 1996, 2001). There could be more Bengal Floricans in this IBA. A more detailed survey of all the grasslands is required.
OTHER KEY FAUNA: Perhaps the largest single population of Swamp Deer in Uttar Pradesh is found in Jhadi taal. They total about 400 individuals.
Smaller scattered groups are also found in other grasslands but their number would not exceed 50-60. Other species found are Hog Deer Axis porcinus, Cheetal Axis axis, Sambar Cervus unicolor and Wild Boar Sus scrofa. No information is available on the reptiles, amphibians and fish.
Key contributors: Asad R. Rahmani, Salim Javed and V. P. Singh.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/06/2022.