National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary (Agra/Etawah)

Country/territory: India

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

Area: 63,500 ha

Bombay Natural History Society
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2013 very high near favourable medium
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
The Chambal WildLife Sanctuary lies in the three states, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, stretching from Kota in Rajasthan to the confluence of Chambal river with the Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh, extending 600 km and encompassing a total area of 63,500 ha (Scott 1989). The Chambal is a perennial river originating in the Vindhya Range in Madhya Pradesh. Within the Sanctuary, the river flows through areas of deeply eroded alluvium, rapids over rock beds, sand banks and gravel bars along with steep banks and bends. Numerous temporary watercourses provide a variety of habitats (Scott 1989). In Uttar Pradesh, the Sanctuary lies in Agra and Etawah districts, with an area of 63500 ha. Out of this, 23500 ha is forest land and the rest belongs to Gram Samaj (village council), Revenue and private land holders. The Chambal Sanctuary was mainly created to provide protection to the endangered Gharial Gavialis gangeticus and the Gangetic Dolphin Platanista gangetica. The Chambal River forms the core of the sanctuary, and the sandy beach and forested areas along the banks to a distance of one km form the buffer zone. In Uttar Pradesh, it covers 180 km stretch of Chambal river.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: The area is of importance for both resident and migratory waterfowl, especially Common Teal Anas crecca, Northern Pintail A. acuta, Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus, Brahminy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea, Red-crested Pochard Rhodonessa rufina, and Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis. Small numbers of Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus, Common Crane Grus grus, Sarus Crane G. antigone, and Black-bellied Tern Sterna acuticauda are also found along the river (Scott 1989). National Chambal Sanctuary is one of the most important bird areas in India, being the breeding site of the Indian Skimmer. This wetland has been listed as a Priority V (high priority) wetland, i.e., a wetland with high ecological and socioeconomic potential but poor data availability (Samant 2000).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: This Sanctuary was established to rehabilitate the Gharial. Good protection during the last 30 years has also benefited the Smooth Indian Otter Lutra perspicillata, the Marsh Crocodile Crocodylus palustris and the Gangetic Dolphin Platanista gangetica.

Terrestrial mammals seen are the Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus, Wild Boar Sus scrofa, Porcupine Hystrix indica, Black-naped Hare Lepus nigricollis, Indian fox Vulpes bengalensis and Golden Jackal Canis aureus. The Indian Wolf Canis lupus is reported from the surrounding areas. There are reports of Chinkara Gazella bennettii also from some drier areas. As fishing is totally prohibited (to safeguard the food of Gharial, Marsh Crocodile, Otter and Dolphin), the fish fauna has improved.

Chambal is also famous for several species of turtles such as Lissemys punctata, Chitra indica, Kachuga kachuga, K. dhongoka, K. tentoria, Trionyx gangeticus and Hardella thurjii.

Key contributors: K. S. Gopi Sunder, Asad R. Rahmani, R. K Sharma and R. G. Rao.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary (Agra/Etawah). Downloaded from on 07/10/2022.