Surha Taal Wildlife Sanctuary


Surha Taal is an oval shaped natural oxbow lake located in the Ballia District (25°51′ N 84°10′E) of Uttar Pradesh. It has an area of 34.32 km2 and is located in the Middle Ganga Plains along the margins of the Ganga River. It is a rain-fed lake with high ecological and socio-economic significance. It has a narrow outlet called ‘Kathar Nala’, about 23 km long, which links it with the Ganga River. The area of the lake is highly dynamic with lake expanding to its maximum during monsoon, August–September, every year. Sometimes, the flow of Kathar Nala gets reversed during the high floods in Ganga and Sarayu Rivers, bringing water into the lake. The area has been historically famous for its rich avifaunal diversity, resulting in the declaration of the area as a Bird Sanctuary in 1991.

The lake also supports rich fish fauna with 23 species of Cypriniformes along with 12 species of Siluriformes, three of Symbrachiformes, 13 of Perciformes, three species of Clupeiformes and one each of Tetraodontiformes and Beloniformes. Four exotic species i.e. Cyprinus carpio, Aristichthys nobilis, Hypophthalmicthys molitrix and Ctenopharyngodon idella have also been recorded from the Sanctuary (Singh et al., 2011).

The Sanctuary is under tremendous anthropogenic pressure due to overfishing, weed infestation and drainage of wetland for cultivation and unsustainable exploitation of wetland resources. The area has seen a surge in human population in recent decades and is densely populated like rest of the Gangetic flood plains. The Sanctuary’s catchment has seen encroachment for agriculture.


 Surha Taal Wildlife Sanctuary

Surha Taal Wildlife Sanctuary


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