JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use the Site in standard view. However, it seems JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser. To use standard view, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options.

| Last Updated:: 09/05/2017

Flying home to Balrampur - Sanctuaries play host to rare birds











Lucknow: It is good news for bird lovers. A recent report shows that one of the state's lesser known sanctuaries played host to a large number of the rarest birds of the world. 




Suheldev Wildlife Sanctuary in Balrampur district has emerged as a dark horse. It was found to be home to around 300 bird species in the first ever avifaunal study in the area. Avifaunal means the study of birds and their environment. In this case, the results have been exemplary. The period of the study was 2014-15. 




A rare raptor and a native to South Africa, the Amur Falcon visited the sanctuary every year from 2014 to 2016 at the onset of winter. While the study itself recorded its presence in 2014-15 as a first-of-its-kind event, in 2016, officials at the sanctuary confirmed that the rare bird visited. The Amur Falcon usually flies to Nagaland, and is also found in Bangalore. 




Of the 300 species spotted, more than 150 were rare birds, says the study team from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), funded by the forest department. As many as 26 of these are near-threatened species. Of the remaining, 172 species are resident, 73 winter migrants, 17 local and six summer migrants. 




Lying in Balrampur and Shravasti districts, the sanctuary is home to 25% bird species found in the country and 60% of those in the state. 




"Suheldev sanctuary is a neglected region. This was for the first time that a study was conducted in the area and the findings are delightful," says conservationist Niharika Singh. 




The report also says that despite being part of the Terai Arc, the sanctuary is the most neglected in UP. The sanctuary has 11 wetlands and each has a vast catchment area which supports a huge population of birds. 




Motipur wetland of the sanctuary, about 5.5 hectare in size, is inhabited by deep diving ducks. Common pochard, red-crested pochard, great crested Grebe, little cormorant and several species of egrets and herons are seen in the area. In Baghelkhand reservoir, about 2,000 birds of 30 species were recorded in an hour by the team. 




Similarly, Rampur reservoir has water birds—migratory and native—present throughout the year. The wetlands in the sanctuary also have several warbler species found along with the eagle owl. "At least 25 more bird species were spotted last winter. This might further increase the number of birds found in the area," says conservationist Vikram Tiwari. 




The sanctuary is home to two critically endangered bird species too—the slender-billed vulture and white-rumped vulture. Near threatened species found here include the Egyptian vulture, black-bellied tern and yellow-breasted bunting. Being a wildlife sanctuary, tigers, leopards, deer and other wild animals are also found here. The best time to visit the sanctuary is October-March. 




Suheldev Wildlife Sanctuary is situated on the Indo-Nepal border in Balrampur and Shravasti districts. It was notified in 1988. It has seven ranges, five in core area and two in buffer. 




The core area is 452 sq km and comprises West and East Suhelwa, Bankatwa, Barhawa, Tulsipur. Buffer area, 227sq km, comprises Rampur and Bhambhar ranges.








Source: The Times of India