Taunsa Barrage Wildlife Sanctuary
Taunsa Barrage Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Muzaffargarh District, Punjab, Pakistan. The Taunsa Barrage Wildlife Sanctuary is in southern Punjab along the Indus River. It has been recognized as a Ramsar site of ecological importance. The sanctuary was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1972, covering an area of 6,576 hectares under the Punjab Wildlife Act. It is an important wetland area that is part of the Central Indus Wetlands Complex, which is a continuum of wetland resources along the main stem of the Indus River.
The sanctuary serves as an important wintering area for water birds and breeding area for several species, and a staging area for certain cranes and water birds. It has a diverse bird population, consisting of water birds, raptors, forest, mountain, and desert dwellers.
The sanctuary is situated on the river Indus, and it is home to a large variety of fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals, including threatened species such as the Hog Deer, Indus Dolphin, Smooth-coated Indian Otter, Marbled Teal, and Spotted Pond Turtle. It is also an important breeding site for the Lesser Whistling Teal, Ruddy Crake, and Pheasant-tailed Jacana.
The sanctuary is densely populated, with a high ratio of the rural population and low industrial development. As such, farming, fishing, and other natural resource-based occupations form major sources of livelihood for the poor. Cotton, wheat, and vegetable are the main crops grown for sale in urban markets while income from livestock supports agricultural income.