Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary – UPSC Prelims

Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary:
  • Khijadiya sanctuary is located in Gujarat.
  • It is a freshwater wetland located near the coast of the Gulf of Kutch.
  • It was formed following the creation of a bund (dike) in 1920 by the then ruler of the erstwhile princely state of Nawanagar to protect farmlands from saltwater ingress.
  • The sanctuary is now part of Marine National Park, Jamnagar, the first marine national park in the country.The sanctuary is also part of the Central Asian Flyway.
  • The site provides habitat to endangered Pallas’s fish-eagle (Haliaeetus leucoryphus) and Indian skimmer (Rynchops albicollis), and the vulnerable common pochard (Aythya ferina).
  • The site also regularly supports more than 1% of the south and south-west Asian population of Dalmatian pelicans, more than 2% of greylag goose and more than 20% of common crane.
  • Significance: Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary has become the fourth wetland of Gujarat to get the Ramsar tag. Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary, Thol Wildlife Sanctuary and Wadhwana wetland are the other Ramsar sites in the state.

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