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 IndiaEstablishmentLocation 
1Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary1976Nellore, 

Andhra Pradesh

2Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary1976Nellore, 

Andhra Pradesh

3Sri Penusila Narasimha Wildlife Sanctuary1973Nellore, 

Andhra Pradesh

4Uppalapadu Bird Sanctuary2005Uppalapadu, 

Andhra Pradesh

5Kolleru Bird Sanctuary1999Andhra Pradesh
6Najafgarh Drain Bird Sanctuary1986 – 1989Delhi 
7Gaga Wildlife Sanctuary1988Kalyanpur, Gujarat
8Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary1982Jamnagar, Gujarat
9Kutch Bustard Sanctuary1992Abdasa District, Gujarat
10Porbandar Bird Sanctuary1988Porbandar, Gujarat
11Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary1969Nalsarovar, Gujarat
12Thol Lake1988Kalol, Gujarat
13Wachana Bird SanctuaryproposedGujarat 
14Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary2009Jhajjar, Haryana
15Khaparwas Wildlife Sanctuary1987Khaparwas, Haryana
16Gamgul1962Chamba, 

Himachal Pradesh

17Attiveri Bird Sanctuary2000Belgaum, Karnataka
18Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary2006Bankapura, Karnataka
19Bonal Bird Sanctuary2010Bonal, Karnataka
20Gudavi Bird Sanctuary1976Shimoga, Karnataka
21Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary1940Mandya, Karnataka
22Kaggaladu Bird Sanctuary1999Kaggaladu, Karnataka
23Magadi Bird Sanctuary1960sMagdi, Karnataka
24Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary1987Shimoga, Karnataka 
25Puttenahalli Lake (Yelahanka)2007: proposedBangalore, Karnataka
26Kerala Kadalundi Bird Sanctuary1983Kadalundi, Kerala
27Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary2004Kochi, Kerala
28Thattekad Bird Sanctuary1983Thattekad, Kerala
29Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary1847Kottayam, Kerala
30Pathiramanal1979Alappuzha, Kerala
31Lengteng Wildlife Sanctuary1999Champhai, Mizoram
32Tal Chhapar Sanctuary1966Churu, Rajasthan
33Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary / Keoladeo National Park1982Bharatpur, Rajasthan
34Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary1989Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu
35Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary1994Koonthankulam, 

Tamil Nadu

36Suchindram Theroor Birds Sanctuary2002: proposedKanyakumari, 

Tamil Nadu

37Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary1977Tirupattur, Tamil Nadu
38Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary1989Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu
39Udayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary1999Tiruvarur, 

Tamil Nadu

40Vellode Birds Sanctuary1996Vellode, Tamil Nadu
41Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary1936Madurantakam, Tamil Nadu
42Bakhira Sanctuary1980Tarbarachh, 

Uttar Pradesh

43Lakh Bahosi Sanctuary1989Kannauj, Uttar Pradesh
44Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary / Shahid Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary1984Ravanhar, 

Uttar Pradesh

45Okhla Sanctuary1990Noida, Uttar Pradesh
46Patna Bird Sanctuary1991Ganeshpur, 

Uttar Pradesh

47Saman Sanctuary1990Saman, Uttar Pradesh
48Samaspur Sanctuary1987Rae Bareli, 

Uttar Pradesh

49Thasrana Bird Sanctuary 2017: proposedThasrana, Uttar Pradesh
50Sandi Bird Sanctuary1990Hardoi, Uttar Pradesh
51Chintamoni Kar Bird Sanctuary1982Kolkata, West Bengal
52Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary1985Raiganj, West Bengal
53Rasikbill Bird Sanctuary1984Rasikbil, West Bengal
54Mayani Bird Sanctuary1950’sMayani, Maharashtra 
55Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary1979Nannaj, Maharashtra
56Karnala Bird Sanctuary1968Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra
57Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary1986Madhyameshwar, Maharashtra
58Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary1988Charao, Goa
59Nalbana Bird Sanctuary 1987Chilka lake, Odisha
60Kanwar Lake Bird Sanctuary1987Begusarai, Bihar
61Sailana Kharmor Bird Sanctuary1983Ratlam,

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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