A Wildlife Sanctuary is a natural occurring place that provides protection for species from hunting, predation, competition or poaching; it is a protected area, a geographic territory within which wildlife is protected. It is established by IUCN category IV protected areas. India has 543 wildlife sanctuaries referred to as wildlife sanctuaries category IV protected areas.
Wildlife sanctuaries in Uttar Pradesh
There are 23 wildlife sanctuaries in Uttar Pradesh which are discussed below:
1. Bakhira Sanctuary
Location: Sant Kabir Nagar district
It was established in 1980. The Grey-headed swamphen (Porphyrio poliocephalus) also called the Indian Purple moorhen or Purple Swamp-hen is one of the beautiful common water birds found in this Sanctuary.
2. Chandra Prabha Wildlife Sanctuary
Location: Chandauli district
It is blessed by beautiful picnic spots, dense forests, and scenic waterfalls like Rajdari and Devdari and was established in May 1957. It is a home of around 150 species of birds. Blackbucks, chital, sambar, nilgai, wild boar, porcupine and chinkara as well as the reptilian species include gharial and python are also found here.
3. Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary
Location: Amroha, Bijnor, Ghaziabad, Meerut, and Muzzafarnagar districts
It was founded in 1986 and named after the ancient city of Hastinapur. Over 350 species of birds are found here such as painted stork, black and white necked stork, sarus crane, as well as night birds of prey, ranging from the great Indian horned owl to the jungle owlet, colourful woodpecker, barbet, kingfisher, minivet, bee-eater and bulbul.
4. Kachhua Sanctuary
Location: Varanasi district
This sanctuary is famous for the different species of turtles, Ganges dolphin and other water animals.
5. Kaimoor Sanctuary
Location: Mirzapur and Sonbhadra districts
It was established in 1982. This sanctuary is famous for leopard, blackbuck, chital, chinkara, ratel, peafowl, antelope, blue bull, wild cat, karakal, and bijju.
6. Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary
Location: Bahraich district
It was established in 1975. It was brought under the purview of the ‘Project Tiger’, and together with the Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary and the Dudhwa National Park it forms the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve in 1987. It is home to a number of endangered species including gharial, tiger, rhino, Gangetic dolphin, swamp deer, hispid hare, Bengal florican, the white-backed and long-billed vultures.
7. Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary
Location: Lakhimpur Kheri district
It was founded in 1972.It is home to a number of species like Tiger, Leopard, Swamp deer, Hog deer, Barking deer, Bengal florican and Lesser florican.
8. Lakh Bahosi Sanctuary
Location: Kannauj district
It is one of India's larger bird sanctuaries, covering 80 square km. It is home to various migratory birds. Jackal, blue bull, mongoose, fishing cat and monkeys are also found here.
9. Mahavir Swami Sanctuary
Location: Lalitpur district
It is the home to the leopard, nilgai, wild boar, sambhar, black buck, blue bull, bear, jackals, langur and monkeys.
10. National Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary
Location: Agra and Etawah districts
It is tri-state protected area in northern India for the protection of the Critically Endangered gharial, the red-crowned roof turtle and the Endangered Ganges river dolphin.
11. Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary
Location: Unnao district
This sanctuary provides protection for 250 species of migratory birds like greylag goose, pintail, cotton teal, red-crested pochard, gadwall, shoveller, coot, mallard, sarus crane, painted stork, peafowl, white ibis, dabchick, whistling teal, open-bill stork, white-necked stork, pheasant-tailed jacana, bronze winged jacana, purple moorhen, lapwing, tern, vulture, pigeon, king crow, Indian roller and bee-eater. The cobra, viper, krait, ratsnake and water snakes are also found here.
12. Okhla Sanctuary
Location: Ghaziabad, and Gautam Buddha Nagar districts
It was declared a protected area in 1990, under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. This sanctuary hosts 30% of the 1200 to 1300 bird species recorded in the Indian sub-continent.
13. Parvati Arga Bird Sanctuary
Location: Gonda district
It was declared a bird sanctuary on 23 May 1990. It is home to 212 species of angiosperms, belonging to 152 genera and 57 families, and three 3 species of pteridophytes, belonging to 3 genera and 3 families.
14. Patna Bird Sanctuary
Location: Etah district
It was founded in 1991.More than 106 species of migratory and resident birds here.
15. Ranipur Sanctuary
Location: Banda and Chitrakoot districts
It was founded in 1977. It is home to the tiger, leopard, sloth bear, sambar, blackbuck, peafowl, spur fowl, jungle fowl, painted partridge, fishing cat and chinkara.
16. Saman Sanctuary
Location: Mainpuri district
It was established in 1990. It is home to the different animals such as Jackal, Mongoose, Hare and various local and migratory birds.
17. Samaspur Sanctuary
Location: Rae Bareli district
It was established in 1987. Greylag Goose, Pintail, Common Teal, Eurasian Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, Ruddy Shelduck (Surkhab), Knob-billed Duck, Lesser Whistling-duck, Indian Spot-billed Duck, Eurasian Spoon-bill, Kingfishers, Vultures are migratory birds come here for natural habitation.
18. Sandi Bird Sanctuary
Location: Hardoi district
It was founded in 1990 to protect the natural habitats and aquatic vegetation for the local residents and migratory birds.
19. Sohagi Barwa Sanctuary
Location: Maharajganj district
It is one of the habitats of Tiger in Uttar Pradesh. Tiger, Leopard, Cheetal, Bear, Wild cat, Wild boar and Python are found here.
20. Suhelva Sanctuary
Location: Balrampur, Gonda, and Shravasti districts
It is located in one of oldest forests in Uttar Pradesh and was given the status of a wildlife sanctuary in 1998. Mammal like Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, sloth bear, antelope and deer are found here. Other animals include fox, hyena, Indian elephant and wild cat are also found here.
21. Sur Sarovar Sanctuary
Location: Agra district
It is also known as Keetham lake Sanctuary. It is home to the more than 106 species of migratory and resident birds. This sanctuary is also famous for the aquatic birds inhabiting Keetham lake are: Little Gerbs, Cormorants, Darter, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Paddy Bird, Cattle Egrets, Large Egrets, Smaller Egrets, Little Egrets, Night Heron, Indian Reef Heron, Black necked Stork, white Ibis, Spon Bill, Greying Goose, Bar headed Goose, Lesser Whistling Teal, Ruddy Shelduck, Pintail, Common Teal, Spot Billed Duck, Gadwall, Wigeon, Shoveler, and Comb Duck.
22. Suraha Tal Sanctuary
Location: Ballia district
It is famous for the variety of migratory and native birds. It was declared a Bird Sanctuary in 1991.
23. Vijai Sagar Sanctuary
Location: Mahoba district
It was founded in 1990. Jackal, mongoose, wildcat and various local and migratory birds found here.