Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary, Jamnagar
Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary is a distinguishing manmade, coastal, freshwater wetland in the semi-arid biogeographic zone near Jamnagar Gujarat. It came into existence due to two embankments built to capture salinity entrance from the sea into the mainland and to prevent fresh water draining into the sea. This created a unique complex “Saltwater-Freshwater” ecosystem with a variety of habitat types and ecosystems. This dynamic and complex wetland ecosystem with a multiplicity of habitat types provides various ecological and economic services.
Wildlife at the Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary:
It is a home to various birds including of species that come under Red Data List of IUCN. This wetland system provides constructive breeding, feeding, roosting, and staging grounds for a great variety and density of birds during various seasons of the year. Along with the marine and freshwater habitats, there are also marshy lands, mangroves, salt pans, creeks, forest scrub, sandy beaches, and even farmlands bordering the area.
There are more than 250 species of resident and migratory birds, including globally threatened species such as Dalmatian Pelican, Asian open bill stork, Black-necked Stork, Darter, Black-headed Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill, and Indian skimmer, and provides birdwatchers with a delightful chance to sight rare birds in large numbers. The KBS is located adjacent to the boundaries of Marine Sanctuary. Due to its strategic location close to the Gulf of Kachchh, a Central Asian flyway, it acts as a regular route for the migratory birds that come from Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to visit the sanctuary and its neighboring areas.
About the sanctuary:
The sanctuary, created over the 1920s and ’30s, is formed from two artificial dikes that separate fresh water from sea water, creating the opportunity to simultaneously watch species that belong to each ecosystem, and some that share both. It provides a safe place for more than 220 species of resident and migratory birds.
There are no overnight chalets but amenities include watchtowers, trails, and paddleboats, to help visitors connect with this varied community.
Major Attractions at Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary
The location of the sanctuary on the western-most end of the country brings it on the traditional path of migratory birds. Moreover, having a unique wetland setting attracts a large number of feathery creatures to nest in the winter season of the year. The types of nests can be differentiated on the basis of their location – nests on trees, nests on the ground and nests on the water.
Some of the most remarkable birds among them include – Dalmatian Pelican, Black-headed Ibis, Painted Stork, Black-necked Stork, Brahminy kite, Indian Skimmer, Marsh Harrier, Grey Francolin, Indian Spotted Eagle, Imperial Eagle, Eurasian Pigeon, Pheasant-tailed Jacana, Common Greenshank, Garganey, Common Teal, Comb Duck, Indian Pond Heron, Demoiselle Crane and so on. Nilgais, wolves, mongoose, jackals, rabbits, jungle cats and a few varieties of snakes have made Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary their home.
For more information visit our website: www.khijadiyabirds.com