National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary (Bundi/Kota)

Year of compilation: 2004

Site description (baseline)
National Chambal Gharial Sanctuary is one of the most important riverine sanctuaries of the country. It was created in 1978 specifically for the protection of the endangered aquatic reptile. Gharial Gavialis gangeticus. It extends over 650 km across the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. The area in question is a 26 km stretch of river between Jawaharsagar Dam and Kota Barrage. The river flows through a 100-150 m gorge. The evergreen flora of the valley is in marked contrast with the Anogeissus forest of the uplands. The vegetation of the Sanctuary mainly comprises of the riverine species along the coast of the river and the deciduous species in the region away from the river. Riverine species present near the waterline include Terminalia arjuna, Ficus glomerata and Syzygium cumini. The surrounding forest area is dominated by Anogeissus pendula, Boswellia serrata and Sterculia urens. (Satish K. Sharma pers. comm. 2003 )

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: About 150 bird species are reported from the site (Vyas 1998). Five species of vultures, four species of storks, Great Horned Owl Bubo bubo, Sarus Crane Grus antigone, Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis, Small Indian Pratincole Glareola lactea, and lapwings are some of the common residents. During winter, large congregations of Large Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, Brahminy Duck Tadorna ferruginea, and Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus may be seen. Approximately 150-200 nests of Long-billed Vulture Gyps indicus have been sighted from the area in the past but the present number is not known. Egyptian Vulture Neophron percnopterus and Woolly-necked or White-necked Stork Ciconia episcopus have been recorded in the Sanctuary. In India, it is one of the most important sites for the breeding of Indian Skimmer.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Gharial Gavialis gangeticus and Marsh Crocodile Crocodylus palustris are common and the most important fauna after which the Sanctuary is named (Rao 1998). Red Crowned Roofed Terrapin Kachuga kachuga, Chitra Turtle Chitra indica, Ganges Soft Shell Aspideretes gangeticus and Small Indian Otter Lutra lutra constitute other important fauna. (Satish K. Sharma pers. comm. 2003).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
MAIN THREATS: Logging; Quarrying; Fishing; Repeated drought.

The water from the site is overused for irrigation purposes as well as for quarrying. This, accompanied by the shortage of rainfall, decreases the water level in the river. The overuse of water should be checked to maintain the water level throughout the year for the residential avifauna.

Key contributors: Rakesh Vyas and Satish K. Sharma.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary (Bundi/Kota). Downloaded from on 04/06/2023.