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The state has twelve bird sanctuaries: Nawabganj, Sandi, Lakh Bahosi, Samaspur, Bakhira, Soor Sarovar, Patna, Saman, Surha Taal, Paarvati Aranga, Vijay Sagar and Okhla. Besides these, there are a large number of wetlands where a wide variety of exotic birds viz: the black-necked stork, the stunning Saras crane, thousands of migratory birds along with several vulture species and more, flock during the winter season! One does not leave the impressive wilderness of Uttar Pradesh disappointed, but only ends up wanting more!

The grasslands of Uttar Pradesh, locally called “Phantas”, are a special feature of most of the Terai Belt along the Northern boundary of the state. The Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) covers an almost crescent-shaped, forest land, covering a total area of 49,500 sq kms. Of this, some 30,000 sq kms of grasslands are in India (while the rest is in Nepal), that is, from Baghmati river (Bihar) in the east to the Yamuna (Uttar Pradesh) in the west. The Terai has 14 Protected Areas (PAs) within its landscape, six of which are in UP – Dudhwa National Park and Tiger Reserve, Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary, Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, Suhailwa Wildlife Sanctuary, Sohagi Barwa Wildlife Sanctuary and the Pilibhit Wild Life Sanctuary.

Listed amongst the 200 ecological regions worldwide and known for their large mammalian assemblage, the Terai is inhabited by the reintroduced, One-horned Rhinoceros, Royal Bengal Tiger, Asian elephants, 80 other mammalian species, 47 reptilian and amphibian species, 556 bird species and more than 2,100 flowering plant species, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). These floodplains are situated at the foothills of the Shivalik range and are geologically referred to as riverine or lowland. The Terai is criss-crossed by large perennial Himalayan rivers such as the Yamuna, Ganga, Ghagra and Sharada, making the land fertile. These rivers have helped build alluvial plains that cover thousands of square kilometers, leading to the formation of the verdant Terai region.

Though mainly known for its grasslands, the Terai region also has an exquisite, dense green cover of Sal and Teak wood forests which make for a magnificently picturesque view during winter months. One of the less talked about ecosystems in Northern India, the grasslands of Uttar Pradesh, never fail to impress visitors. The plains here are dominated by tall, dense, perennial grass belonging to the family of ‘Poaceae’, which often grows three to six meters tall and provides perfect camouflage for the animals.

As far as the wood-areas are concerned, thick vegetation covers a major portion of the Dudhwa Terai and is dominated by the North Indian, moist, deciduous, riparian and tropical, semi-evergreen trees like, Sal (Shorea rubusta), Sheesham (Dalbergia sissoo), Khair (Acacia catechu), Teak (Tectona gradis), Jaamun (Syzigium cumini) and Bamboo. Sal is this region's most dominant tree species and grows up to a height of 30 mtrs. on an average. Mixed forests cover about 25% of the forest area.