Thursday, July 13, 2023

Saman Bird Sanctuary

Saman Bird Sanctuary UPSC

The Saman Bird Sanctuary located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Spread over approximately 5.25 square kilometers, the sanctuary is known for its diverse flora and fauna.

The sanctuary was established in 1990 to protect the large population of sarus cranes, which are the tallest flying birds in the world. In 2019, it was designated as a Ramsar wetland site, recognizing its ecological importance on a global scale.

The Saman Bird Sanctuary is famous for its diverse avian population. Besides sarus cranes, it attracts migratory birds and hosts wetland birds, birds of prey, and other species like storks, herons, and raptors. The sanctuary also supports reptiles and amphibians.

Table of Contents

  • Saman Bird Sanctuary Location
  • Saman Bird Sanctuary History
  • Saman Bird Sanctuary Area
  • Saman Bird Sanctuary Lake
  • Saman Bird Sanctuary Flora
  • Saman Bird Sanctuary Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Saman Bird Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Saman Bird Sanctuary Location

The Saman Bird Sanctuary is located in the Mainpuri district of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is a seasonal oxbow lake on the Ganges floodplain.

Saman Bird Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to the Saman Bird Sanctuary is Kheria Airport, also known as Agra Airport. It is located in Agra, approximately 130 kilometers away from the district headquarters of Mainpuri. Kheria Airport serves as the main airport for Agra and is well-connected to major cities in India.

Saman Bird Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to the Saman Bird Sanctuary is Mainpuri Junction. Mainpuri Junction is situated on the Shikohabad-Farrukhabad branch line. It is located just 5 kilometers away from the sanctuary. Mainpuri Junction serves as a convenient transportation option for visitors traveling by train.

Saman Bird Sanctuary History

Establishment: Saman Bird Sanctuary was notified in 1990 with the primary objective of protecting the large population of sarus cranes in the area. The sanctuary serves as a safe habitat for these magnificent birds, allowing for their conservation and promoting breeding and nesting activities.

Saman Bird Sanctuary as a Ramsar Site: In 2019, the Saman Bird Sanctuary was designated as a Ramsar wetland site. The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty aimed at the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. Designating the Saman Bird Sanctuary as a Ramsar site recognizes its ecological importance and highlights its significance in the global conservation efforts for wetland habitats.

Saman Bird Sanctuary Area

The Saman Bird Sanctuary is spread over an area of approximately 5.25 square kilometers. While relatively compact in size, the sanctuary encompasses a diverse range of habitats that provide essential resources for the avian population, particularly the sarus cranes. The area  include oxbow lakes, wetlands, marshes, and other types of bird-friendly ecosystems.

Saman Bird Sanctuary Lake

The Saman Bird Sanctuary features a seasonal oxbow lake situated on the Ganges floodplain. Oxbow lakes are formed when a river changes its course, leaving behind a crescent-shaped body of water. These lakes serve as important habitats for various bird species, including migratory and resident birds.

The lake at the Saman Bird Sanctuary is a crucial component of its ecosystem. It provides water and supports a diverse array of aquatic plants, fish, and other organisms that contribute to the overall biodiversity of the sanctuary. Additionally, the lake serves as a resting and feeding ground for numerous bird species, including the sarus cranes that the sanctuary aims to protect.

The water supply for the Saman Bird Sanctuary's lake is primarily dependent on the arrival of the south-westerly monsoon in July and August. During this time, the sanctuary receives the majority of its annual rainfall, which replenishes the lake and sustains the ecosystem. This dependence on monsoon rainfall underscores the importance of seasonal patterns and natural water sources for the functioning of the sanctuary.

Saman Bird Sanctuary Flora

The Saman Bird Sanctuary boasts a rich diversity of flora, contributing to its ecological significance as a habitat for various bird species. The sanctuary's vegetation comprises a mix of aquatic plants, wetland species, and other types of vegetation typically found in floodplain ecosystems. 

While specific plant species may vary, here are some common types of flora that can be found in and around the Saman Bird Sanctuary:

(1) Aquatic Plants:

The sanctuary's oxbow lake and wetland areas support various aquatic plant species. These may include floating plants like water lilies (Nymphaea spp.), lotus (Nelumbo spp.), and water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes). Submerged plants such as Vallisneria and Hydrilla may also be present.

(2) Wetland Species:

The wetland areas within the sanctuary are likely to host species adapted to marshy and damp conditions. These may include grasses, sedges, and reeds like Phragmites, Typha, and Cyperus. These plants help stabilize the soil, provide cover for wildlife, and contribute to the overall wetland ecosystem.

(3) Riparian Vegetation:

The vegetation along the banks of the oxbow lake and surrounding areas is characterized by riparian species. These plants are adapted to periodic flooding and may include trees like babul (Acacia nilotica), neem (Azadirachta indica), banyan (Ficus benghalensis), and jamun (Syzygium cumini). Shrubs and bushes like Indian gooseberry (Phyllanthus emblica) and river tamarisk (Tamarix gallica) might also be present.

(4) Grasslands:

Open grassy areas or meadows are found in the Saman Bird Sanctuary. These grasslands provide feeding grounds for herbivorous birds and habitat for small mammals. Grass species such as Cynodon, Saccharum, and Imperata could be part of the sanctuary's grassland ecosystem.

Saman Bird Sanctuary Fauna (Saman Bird Sanctuary Animals)

The Saman Bird Sanctuary is renowned for its diverse avian population, with a wide array of resident and migratory bird species making it their home. However, the sanctuary also supports other forms of wildlife. 

Here are some notable fauna that can be found in the Saman Bird Sanctuary:


  • Jackal
  • Mongoose
  • Hare
  • Bats


Sarus Crane (Grus antigone): The sarus crane is the flagship species of the sanctuary and holds significant cultural and conservation value. With their elegant appearance and vibrant plumage, these tall birds are a common sight in the sanctuary.

Saman Bird Sanctuary is also a haven for several species of migratory birds like- 

  • Common Teal
  • Northern Pintail
  • Great White Pelican 

The resident population of storks in the Sanctuary includes-

  • Painted Stork
  • Black-necked Stork
  • Open-billed Stork
  • Woolly-necked Stork

Others Birds here include- 

  • Egyptian vulture
  • Sparrow Hawk
  • Black Shouldered Kite
  • Crested Serpent Eagle
  • Black Kite
  • Magpie Robin
  • Rufous Fronted Prinia
  • Little Green Bee-eater
  • Tailor Bird
  • Ashy Prinia
  • Indian Grey Hornbill
  • Lineated Barbet
  • Yellow Footed Green Pigeon
  • Asian Openbill


The wetland ecosystem of the Saman Bird Sanctuary supports a range of reptiles and amphibians. This may include species like Indian pythons, monitor lizards, turtles, frogs, and toads.

Saman Bird Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. Where is Saman Bird Sanctuary situated?

A. The Saman Bird Sanctuary is located in the Mainpuri district of Uttar Pradesh, India. 

Q. What is Saman Bird Sanctuary famous for?

A. The Saman Bird Sanctuary is primarily famous for its large population of sarus cranes (Grus antigone). The sanctuary was established in 1990 with the specific purpose of protecting these majestic birds. The sarus crane is the tallest flying bird in the world and holds cultural significance in India. It is revered as a symbol of good fortune and fidelity.

Apart from sarus cranes, the sanctuary also attracts a diverse range of bird species, including migratory birds that visit during the winter season. Wetland birds, birds of prey, and other avian species can be spotted within the sanctuary's boundaries.

The sanctuary's significance extends beyond its local importance. In 2019, the Saman Bird Sanctuary was designated as a Ramsar site, highlighting its international recognition as a valuable wetland ecosystem for avian conservation.

Overall, the Saman Bird Sanctuary is famous for its role in protecting the sarus crane population, providing a haven for various bird species, and contributing to the conservation of wetland ecosystems. It offers a unique opportunity for birdwatchers, nature enthusiasts, and researchers to appreciate and study the avian diversity and ecological importance of the area.

Saman Bird Sanctuary

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