SUBJECT :Things to know about Raiganj (Kulik) Wildlife Sanctuary, West Bengal 

March 13, 2018: Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary (also popularly known as Kulik Bird Sanctuary) is situated near Raiganj in Uttar Dinajpur district in the Indian state of West Bengal. The bird sanctuary is home to 164 species of birds, and some 70,000 to 80,000 migratory birds visit the sanctuary every year.

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Location: It is located 4 km (2.5 miles) north from the centre of Raiganj town, the district headquarters. National Highway 12 runs beside the sanctuary. Raiganj is 425 km (264 mi) from Kolkata and 181 km (112 mi) from Siliguri.

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The area of the sanctuary is around 1.30 km2. The core area is about 0.14 km2 and the rest is buffer area. The river flows around part of the sanctuary and acts as the boundary in its eastern and southern parts. The shape of the sanctuary is that of the English alphabet "U". The sanctuary has a network of artificial canals connected with the river Kulik. During monsoon the river water enters the sanctuary, which supports a wide variety of food for the birds, particularly for the Asian openbill, whose main diet is apple snail. The sanctuary is home to 164 species of birds.

Several types of migratory birds arrive here each year from South Asian countries and coastal regions. They start arriving from June. The migratory species includes open-bill storks, egrets, night herons and cormorants.  The resident birds are kites, flycatchers, owls, kingfishers, woodpeckers, drongoes and many more.

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Heronry: Global population of the Asian openbill is estimated to be 130,000 by Wetland International, and around half of them live in Asia. The species is known to breed in a colony, called heronry, but there are very few heronries in India, particularly those that are well protected against human greed. Ornithologically, Raiganj Wildlife Sanctuary is a very important heronry. As per the breeding population data of Asian openbills, the sanctuary reveals that it regularly supports 32 - 40 percent of the existing population of Asian openbills of South Asia. A heronry, which supports such a high percentage of Asian openbills, is not only a nationally important heronry but also an internationally important heronry.

·        Birds at the heronry:

·        Asian openbill stork

·        Little egret

·        Little cormorant

·        Night heron

·        Pond heron

The time of formation of heronry is July to December. Asian openbill storks generally start nesting during mid-June, though the migration depends upon the rain. If monsoon starts early, the Asian openbill comes early. The other four species start nesting in mid-May.

If you love birds and want to see different species altogether then Kulik (Raiganj) Bird Sanctuary is no less than heaven.  You will find here bird species like duck & cuckoo, owl, woodpeckers, kingfishers, owls, kites, flycatchers and many more.

Best time to visit: October and November

At the sanctuary, apart from birds you get to see several wildlife creatures. Finding rare species of heronries feels like heaven because only few sanctuaries provide such visual pleasure.

Tourism here is exploring new flora and fauna, adventure and bird watching.

Information are extracted from

Source: ENVIS RP Sikkim on Ecotourism