Saman Bird Sanctuary

Country/territory: India

IBA criteria met: A1, A4i, A4iii (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 525 ha

Bombay Natural History Society
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2003 not assessed high not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (2004 baseline)
Saman Bird Sanctuary is located near village Saman in Karhal tehsil of Mainpuri district. It was declared as a bird sanctuary in 1990 by a gazette notification. The sanctuary is a natural rainfed oxbow lake of approximately 525 ha, that dries up in summer. The wetland attracts large numbers of migratory birds in winter, while resident bird fauna are seen all the year round. The site is important for large wintering waterfowl congregations. There are eight villages inside the Sanctuary and several along the periphery. Nelumbo is found on the entire waterbody, along with a highly diverse group of hydrophytic vegetation which includes Cyperus, Phragmites and Typha. There has been no study of the flora in this Sanctuary. About 100 years ago, Saman jheel, along with Lakh-Bahosi (an IBA) in nearby Farrukhabad district, and other jheels formed an important habitat for the Siberian Crane Grus leucogeranus. The great ornithologist A. O. Hume saw Siberian Cranes in many jheels in Etawah and Mainpuri districts between 1858 and 1867. Saman could have been one of the important sites, although Hume did not mention it by name. The name ‘Tuman’ jheels (26°46’ N and 79°02’ E) is referred by Wilkinshaw, where W. E. Brooks shot three Siberian Cranes in February 1871. It appears that Tuman is none other than Saman jheel (Rahmani and Arora, 1992).

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: Saman jheel is famous for congregation of waterbirds during winter. Three to five breeding pairs of Sarus crane Grus antigone are resident in the Sanctuary. In January 2001, waterfowl census revealed more than 1500 Common Teal Anas crecca, 6,000 to 10,000 Northern Pintail Anas acuta, 30,000 Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanica, and 200 Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus (V. P. Singh, pers. comm. 2003). Many of these species occur in far greater numbers than their 1% biogeographic population threshold determined by Wetlands International (2002), so the site fits A4i criteria also. A heronry on a large Ficus tree has around 150 nests of Blackcrowned Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax, with several nests of egrets Egretta spp. and Indian Pond Heron Ardeola grayii. A breeding pair of Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus and one or two Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga are regularly found in the Sanctuary.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Being a wetland and entirely surrounded by anthropogenically modified countryside, there are no large mammals of conservation concern in the area.

Key contributors: Asad R. Rahmani and K. S. Gopi Sunder.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Saman Bird Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 23/02/2024.