Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary - Uttar Pradesh

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 22, 2022, 8:06

India has around 564 existing wildlife sanctuaries, covering about 3.73% of the country's geographical area. These wildlife sanctuaries play an essential role by providing stability and protecting the natural habitat and animals. Besides wildlife sanctuaries, India has numerous Ramsar sites or wetland sites that have become the largest among the countries of South Asia.

The number of Ramsar sites has currently increased to 49 by adding Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary to the list. On 2nd February 2022, World Wetland Day, Bhupendra Yadav, the Union Environment Minister, declared it a Ramsar site.

Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary - Overview

The Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Bakhira Tal, was deemed into existence in 1990 by the Forest and Wildlife Department of the Uttar Pradesh Government. It is a shallow-water, river-connecting wetland. It is situated west of the Rapti riverbank, 44 km west of the Gorakhpur, 55 km away from Basti, and 18 km away from Khalilabad. This wildlife sanctuary is India's largest natural floodplain wetland in Sant Kabir Nagar, Eastern Uttar Pradesh.

The Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary is an open habitat for the vast species of residents as well as migratory birds. During winter, about 4000 migratory birds from 30 different species from Europe, Tibet, Siberia and China come to this wetland, covering around 5000 km. Along with the distinctive species of birds, the sanctuary has a wide variety of shrubs, hydrophytes, and trees.

Important UPSC Topics
UPSC ExamUPSC Exam Date
UPSC NotificationUPSC Eligibility
UPSC Online ApplicationUPSC Exam Pattern
UPSC SyllabusUPSC Previous Year Question Papers
UPSC Cut OffUPSC Preparation Strategy
UPSC BooksUPSC Exam Analysis
UPSC Admit CardUPSC Results

Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary - Features and Significance

The Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary has major significance, as detailed below:

  • The livelihood of villagers residing nearby wetland villages depends on the wetland in the form of fuelwood collection, fishing, and agricultural activities.
  • The total area of land sanctuary cover is 2894 hectares, comprising 1819 hectares of Gram Samaj, 1059 hectares of agricultural, and 15 hectares of Reserve Forest land.
  • The wetland is home to more than 45 species of fish and 119 plant species. The dominant species of fish are Channa sp and Labeo rohita.
  • Various bird species from Serbia have migrated in winter every year to this wetland, covering about 5000km.
  • The Grey-headed swamphen, commonly known as Purple Swamp-hen, is one of the lovely water birds usually found here.
  • It supports certain species of mammals, reptiles, fishes, and amphibians.
  • The terrain and landscape of the wetland are almost flat.
  • There are no longer large wild mammals found as human habitation surrounds the sanctuary.
  • It is home to small mammals, including Jungle Cat Felis Chaus, Golden Jackal Canis aureus, and Small Indian Mongoose Herpestes javanicus.

Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary Ecosystem

  • After the monsoon season, the humidity level moves above 70%.
  • The average annual rainfall surrounding the wetland is about 1166 mm.
  • The Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary helps offer nesting ground to a prolonged number of birds.
  • It supports various species of aquatic plants; still, the sanctuary has a relatively lesser amount of marine species because of the rocky soil and harsh climatic conditions.
  • The mean maximum temperature in winter is 23℃, and the mean minimum is 9℃.

Besides the distinctive features of the Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary, the authorities also use it for tourism and recreation and contribute to nutrient cycling and food supply. It has become one of the 49th Ramsar Sites of India and one of the 10th Ramsar Sites of Uttar Pradesh. This sanctuary is internationally important for its birdlife, as it provides wintering ground to the numerous species of birds.

More Current Affairs Topics
Mysore DasaraNallamala Hills
National Digital Tourism MissionNational e-Governance Plan
Mansar Lake ProjectBank Holidays in Karnataka
Bhadla Solar ParkBeema Bamboo
Aroma MissionBhagwan Das

FAQs on Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary

Q.1) Is Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary a Ramsar site?

Yes. The number of Ramsar sites has currently increased to 49 by adding Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary to the list.

Q.2) When did the Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary come into existence?

The Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary, also known as Bakhira Tal, was deemed into existence in 1990 by the Forest and Wildlife Department of the Uttar Pradesh Government.

Q.3) Where is Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary situated?

Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary is situated west of the Rapti riverbank, 44 km west of the Gorakhpur, 55 km away from Basti, and 18 km away from Khalilabad.

Q.4) Why is Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary so famous?

Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary is an open habitat for the vast species of residents as well as migratory birds. During winter, about 4000 migratory birds from 30 different species from Europe, Tibet, Siberia, and China come to this wetland, covering around 5000 km.

Q.5) Which animals are found in the Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary?

Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary is the home of small mammals, including Jungle Cat Felis Chaus, Golden Jackal Canis aureus, and Small Indian Mongoose Herpestes javanicus.