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Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary: Features and Importance

Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary 2022

The Bakhira Wildlife sanctuary is located 44 km east of Gorakhpur city and situated in Sant Kabir Nagar district, Uttar Pradesh. The Bakhira Wildlife sanctuary was established in 1990. On the occasion of World Wetland Day 2022, which is 2nd February 2022, Bakhira Wildlife sanctuary was listed as one of the Ramsar sites in India. It is the largest natural flood plain wetland in Uttar Pradesh. Along with this Khijadiya Wildlife sanctuary, Gujarat was also listed as a Ramsar site. The occasion was facilitated by the Union Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav. This makes the number of Ramsar sites in Uttar Pradesh up to 10 and makes India have the largest number of Ramsar sites among the countries of southern Asia. The total number of protected Wetlands in India also increased to 49.

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Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary: Features

In 1990, it was declared a bird sanctuary by the forest and Wildlife department, under the Government of Uttar Pradesh. The wildlife sanctuary is an open habitat and a large variety of migratory birds reside there.  It is also known as Bakhira Tal which means wetlands. It is the largest natural wetlands of Uttar Pradesh and it is a perennial wetland. The source of water is rainfall and the river Ami (a tributary of the Rapti river). The area covered by the Bakhira wildlife sanctuary is about 29 sq km. The name Bakhira is from the village which is situated adjacent to the river. The villagers mostly depend on the wetlands for their livelihood. Bakhira is a bird sanctuary and there are more than 40,000 birds and those are of 30 different species. During winters there are a lot of migratory birds seen in the sanctuary. It keeps the birds safe from poaching and hunting.

Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary: Importance

The wildlife sanctuary helps to conserve different species of birds found in India as well as migratory birds. Birds are a part of wildlife and it is equally important to conserve and protect them with proper measures. Bakhira wildlife sanctuary plays an important role in protecting wildlife. It provides breeding and nesting grounds to resident and migratory birds in huge numbers. The migratory birds are from China, Tibet, Siberia, and Europe. Bakhira wildlife sanctuary also provides shelter for aquatic animals and plants. There are various fishes, amphibians, and reptiles found there. However, the climatic conditions of wetlands are harsh and Rocky soil makes it hard for the aquatic species to flourish.

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