|Most recent IBA monitoring assessment|
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Located near Niphad in Nashik district, Nandur Madhmeshwar is a large water storage reservoir, created by the construction of a dam at the confluence of the Godavari and the Kadva rivers. The lake is a pick-up weir constructed in 1907-1913 on the Godavari river to supply water for irrigation. Over the years, the water released from Gangapur and Darana water reservoirs is stored at Nandur Madhmeshwar and subsequently released from here through canals for irrigation. Huge quantities of silt and organic matter carried in the past 90 years have accumulated in the lake, due to which islands, shallow water ponds and marshlands have been created. This has resulted in a good wetland habitat for birds. It has been aptly described as the Bharatpur of Maharashtra (Rane 1983). The Nandur-Madhmeshwar irrigation dam and the catchment areas are surrounded by sugarcane, onion, jowar and wheat fields, and grape orchards. There is no forest around this wetland (Rane 1983). The reservoir fills with monsoon runoff between July and September, and attracts several species of migratory birds between September and March. The water level fluctuates, depending upon the usage. This is quite suitable for waterfowl and waders, as most of them prefer shallow water, mudflats and marshes. Three large islands are also present within the waterbody. About 23 small satellite lakes are present within a radius of 25 km around the reservoir, adding to the overall importance of the region. About 463 species of plants have been identified (Kumar et al. 2002), of which nearly 80 are aquatic.
AVIFAUNA: At least 253 species of birds are known to occur in the region, the majority of which are migratory. The reservoir is an important staging and wintering ground for migratory waterfowl, of which over 20,000 have been recorded. These include over 750 Little Cormorant Phalacrocorax niger, 600 Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus, 700 Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa, 500 Little Stint Calidris minuta and 800 Small Pratincole Glareola lactea. The Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca is the only globally threatened species known from this area. It was first seen in December 1983 by Goenka et al. (1985). Many species have been seen in numbers much above their 1% threshold level determined by the Wetlands International (2002). For example, 100 White Stork Ciconia ciconia were seen (Kumar et al. 2002), while the 1% threshold is only 45 individuals in South Asia. More than 1,000 Demoiselle Crane Grus virgo are seen in and around Nandur Madhmeshwar, while 100,000 of this species winter in the Indian Subcontinent (Wetlands International 2002) therefore, 1% are seen in this IBA site alone, thus qualifying is A4i criteria. This wetland is a prime candidate as a Ramsar site.
OTHER KEY FAUNA: The Fishing cat Felis viverrina and over 20 species of fish including Puntius ticto, Channa ranga and Mystus cavasius are the important components of the biodiversity of this site.
Key contributors: B. Raha and N. B. Bhure.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Nandur Madhmeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/08/2022.