Bird Sanctuaries in India – State-wise List

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Bird sanctuaries in India are built to protect different species of birds. They are natural accommodation for the conservation of various species and their habitat. It is important for the survival of these birds. India currently has 61 bird sanctuaries spread across different states of the country. The capturing and killing of species is not allowed in these areas. Ramsar Convention and Wildlife Protection Act 1972 are closely related to bird sanctuaries. Let’s understand them first.

Bird Sanctuaries in India

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Bird Sanctuaries in India

Wildlife Protection Act

It is an act of the parliament to protect the flora and fauna of the country. Most of the bird sanctuaries in India are protected under this act. It has six schedules stating different degrees of protection. This is the umbrella act for the protection of the entire Indian ecosystem or wildlife. It came into being in 1972 and was put forward by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

It is an international treaty for the conservation of Wetlands across the globe. All the water bodies come under the wetlands. Most birds need and prefer to live near water bodies explaining why most of the sanctuaries are near lakes and rivers. Many sanctuaries fall under Ramsar convention sites for ecosystem protection. There are 39 Ramsar sites in India including Chilka lake, Sandi Bird Sanctuary, Samaspur Bird Sanctuary, Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary, and more.

Here’s a list of some famous bird sanctuaries of India –

1. Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary

It is situated in Kottayam District of Kerala. The sanctuary is on the banks of Vembanad Lake and is often called Vembanad Bird Sanctuary. It is famous for providing shelter to a variety of migratory birds. It came into being in 1847 becoming the first scientifically formed bird sanctuary in India. (official establishment was later). It has around 180 species of birds.

2. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary

It is the largest bird sanctuary of Karnataka situated in Mandya district of the state on the banks of the Kaveri river with a variety of flora and fauna. It became a reserve in 1940 by the king of Mysore and has around 170 bird species contributing to the ecosystem of Ranganathittu. This has also become a nesting site for almost 8000 nestlings.

3. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary

It is the only bird sanctuary in Goa situated on Chorao Island. It is on the banks of the Mandovi river. This mangrove forest became a sanctuary in 1988. It is named after a naturalist, Salim Ali. It has a variety of bird species including the striated heron and western reef heron. Himalayan Forest Thrush is often known as Salim Ali bird.

4. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

It is the oldest water bird sanctuary of India situated in Madurantakam, Tamil Nadu. the construction of this sanctuary started in 1798 and completed in 1858. It became a sanctuary in 1936. But it becameVedanthangal Bird Sanctuary in 1988 under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
It has more than 40,000 birds living there including 26 rare species. It also has more than 5000 Barringtonia trees.

5. Nalbana Bird Sanctuary

It is the Ramsar wetlands of Chilka Lake in Odisha. It became a bird sanctuary in 1973 under the Wildlife Protection Act but notified in 1987. The monsoon season sees flocks of flamingos here from Iran and Kutch. Other migratory birds arrive here in the early winter season. It is on the banks of Chilka lake which is Asia’s largest lagoon.

6. Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary

It is the largest bird sanctuary of India covering 120sq km situated in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. It became a bird sanctuary in 1969 and the Ramsar Convention Site in 2012. There are 225 species of birds with 140 being water birds. And around 210 species of birds arrive here every winter from the north including Pelicans and Storks.

7. Thattekad Bird Sanctuary

It is the first bird sanctuary of Kerala situated in Thattekad on the banks of Kerala’s longest river – Periyar river. It became a sanctuary in 1983 and is home to many forest and water birds. This sanctuary is famous for Indian Pitta as they reside there for six months (winter) every year. It is also called Cuckoo paradise as it serves as a habitat for various cuckoos.

8. Keoladeo National Park

It is one of the most populated bird sanctuaries situated in Bharatpur, Rajasthan. It is formerly called Bharatpur Bird sanctuary which came into being in 1971. The locals of Rajasthan call it Ghana. It is home to more than 230 bird species including Sarus Crane and a variety of ducks. It is a Ramsar Convention Site and a World Heritage Site.

9. Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary

Kanwar Taal is the largest freshwater oxbow lake of Asia situated in Begusarai, Bihar. It became a bird sanctuary in 1987. It is home to 106 species of birds including Oriental white-backed vulture and Long-billed vulture which are highly endangered. But it is drying up quickly because of global warming issues.

10. Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary

It is the only drain sanctuary of India situated in Delhi. It is actually an extension of the Sahibi River. The idea to make it a sanctuary was put forward in between 1986 and 1989. It becomes a stay for many migratory birds during the winter season. More than 150 species of birds reside in this sanctuary. It is still in the process of becoming an official bird sanctuary.

11. Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary

This sanctuary is devoted to the Great Indian Bustard. It is situated in Solapur, Maharashtra. The area of the sanctuary is semi-arid. It became a sanctuary in 1979 after tremendous efforts by Mr. B.S.Kulkarni. The great Indian Bustard is one of the largest birds in India. It is the only sanctuary in India where this bird lives in large numbers.

There are a total of 61 bird sanctuaries in India. Here’s the list with their names, establishment year, and location.

S. No.  Bird Sanctuaries in India Establishment Location 
1 Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary 1976 Nellore, 

Andhra Pradesh

2 Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary 1976 Nellore, 

Andhra Pradesh

3 Sri Penusila Narasimha Wildlife Sanctuary 1973 Nellore, 

Andhra Pradesh

4 Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary 2005 Uppalapadu, 

Andhra Pradesh

5 Kolleru Bird Sanctuary 1999 Andhra Pradesh
6 Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary 1986 – 1989 Delhi 
7 Gaga Wildlife Sanctuary 1988 Kalyanpur, Gujarat
8 Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary 1982 Jamnagar, Gujarat
9 Kutch Bustard Sanctuary 1992 Abdasa District, Gujarat
10 Porbandar Bird Sanctuary 1988 Porbandar, Gujarat
11 Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary 1969 Nalsarovar, Gujarat
12 Thol Lake 1988 Kalol, Gujarat
13 Wachana Bird Sanctuary proposed Gujarat 
14 Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary 2009 Jhajjar, Haryana
15 Khaparwas Wildlife Sanctuary 1987 Khaparwas, Haryana
16 Gamgul 1962 Chamba, 

Himachal Pradesh

17 Attiveri Bird Sanctuary 2000 Belgaum, Karnataka
18 Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary 2006 Bankapura, Karnataka
19 Bonal Bird Sanctuary 2010 Bonal, Karnataka
20 Gudavi Bird Sanctuary 1976 Shimoga, Karnataka
21 Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary 1940 Mandya, Karnataka
22 Kaggaladu Bird Sanctuary 1999 Kaggaladu, Karnataka
23 Magadi Bird Sanctuary 1960s Magdi, Karnataka
24 Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary 1987 Shimoga, Karnataka 
25 Puttenahalli Lake (Yelahanka) 2007: proposed Bangalore, Karnataka
26 Kerala Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary 1983 Kadalundi, Kerala
27 Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary 2004 Kochi, Kerala
28 Thattekad Bird Sanctuary 1983 Thattekad, Kerala
29 Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary 1847 Kottayam, Kerala
30 Pathiramanal 1979 Alappuzha, Kerala
31 Lengteng Wildlife Sanctuary 1999 Champhai, Mizoram
32 Tal Chhapar Sanctuary 1966 Churu, Rajasthan
33 Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary / Keoladeo National Park 1982 Bharatpur, Rajasthan
34 Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary 1989 Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu
35 Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary 1994 Koonthankulam, 

Tamil Nadu

36 Suchindram Theroor Birds Sanctuary 2002: proposed Kanyakumari, 

Tamil Nadu

37 Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary 1977 Tirupattur, Tamil Nadu
38 Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary 1989 Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu
39 Udayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary 1999 Tiruvarur, 

Tamil Nadu

40 Vellode Birds Sanctuary 1996 Vellode, Tamil Nadu
41 Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary 1936 Madurantakam, Tamil Nadu
42 Bakhira Sanctuary 1980 Tarbarachh, 

Uttar Pradesh

43 Lakh Bahosi Sanctuary 1989 Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh
44 Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary / Shahid Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary 1984 Ravanhar, 

Uttar Pradesh

45 Okhla Sanctuary 1990 Noida, Uttar Pradesh
46 Patna Bird Sanctuary 1991 Ganeshpur, 

Uttar Pradesh

47 Saman Sanctuary 1990 Saman, Uttar Pradesh
48 Samaspur Sanctuary 1987 Rae Bareli, 

Uttar Pradesh

49 Thasrana Bird Sanctuary  2017: proposed Thasrana, Uttar Pradesh
50 Sandi Bird Sanctuary 1990 Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh
51 Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary 1982 Kolkata, West Bengal
52 Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary 1985 Raiganj, West Bengal
53 Rasikbill Bird Sanctuary 1984 Rasikbil, West Bengal
54 Mayani Bird Sanctuary 1950’s Mayani, Maharashtra 
55 Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary 1979 Nannaj, Maharashtra
56 Karnala Bird Sanctuary 1968 Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra
57 Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary 1986 Madhyameshwar, Maharashtra
58 Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary 1988 Charao, Goa
59 Nalbana Bird Sanctuary  1987 Chilka lake, Odisha
60 Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary 1987 Begusarai, Bihar
61 Sailana Kharmor Bird Sanctuary 1983 Ratlam,

Madhya Pradesh

Conclusion

Bird Sanctuaries are important for the protection and conservation of avian species. They stabilize and support the ecosystem. Indian geography is important for competitive exams like UPSC, SSC, RRB, and more. It may be part of the GK section or Geography section. Every exam gives importance to this topic. This article will help you cover all the bird sanctuaries of India. Giving it a good read will prove beneficial for your exam results.

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