Samaspur Wildlife Sanctuary
Samaspur Wildlife Sanctuary (26°00’00”N and 81°25’00”E) is located near Salon in the Rae Bareli district of Uttar Pradesh. The area experiences an average annual rainfall of 900 mm due to the North-westerly winds and the temperature varies from 46°C in summer to 4°C in winter. Owing to its ecological significance, an area of 7.80 km2 was declared as a bird Sanctuary in 1987. The Sanctuary has been identified as an 'Important Bird Area' site by Bombay Natural History Society while the wetland is included in the list of wetlands identified under National Wetland Conservation Programme of the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change.
The Sanctuary area consists of six different lakes viz. Rohnia, Samaspur Hakganj, Mamuni, Gorwa Hasanpur and Bisaiya. The Sanctuary has become an attractive destination for the bird lovers as well as tourists since several years. More than 250 species of birds have been recorded from the Sanctuary. The lake provides a refuge to thousands of migratory waterfowl including Greylag geese, Northern pintail, Common teal and Northern shoveler. Approximately, 50,000 waterbirds visit this Sanctuary every year from November to March. It serves as a nesting and breeding ground for many bird species. Resident bird species include Comb duck, Lesser whistling teal, Spot-billed duck and Asian spoonbill. Twelve species of fish have been reported from the lake at Samaspur.
Despite its protected status, the lake and its surrounding landscape is under tremendous human pressure as more and more intensive agriculture is practiced on the floodplains and nearby fields. Water of the lake is getting polluted due to surface runoff contaminated with chemicals (agricultural, urban and industrial runoff) and waste dumping by nearby communities. Livestock grazing in the surroundings results in soil erosion, augmenting siltation of lakes. In the recent past, the area has seen fast growth of weeds such as water hyacinth, which poses a management challenge. Illegal fishing from lakes by surrounding communities has also been a problem for the conservation of important aquatic fauna.
Samaspur Bird Sanctuary
- Islam, M.Z., and Rahmani, A.R. (2004). Important Bird Areas in India: Priority sites for conservation. Indian Bird conservation network: Bombay History Society and Birdlife International, UK. 1133 pp.
- Rahmani, A.R. (1992). The wetlands of Uttar Pradesh- Part III. . Newsletter for Birdwatchers 32(1); 3-5.
- Wetland International (2002). Water Birds Population Estimates Third Edition. Wetland International Global Series No.12. Wageningen, Netherlands.
Last Updated: December 1, 2016