All About Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve

Imagine a hidden gem in India, a place where wetlands shimmer and rare animals roam. That’s Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve, a protected area teeming with life! This special spot, near Rajaji National Park, shelters the last herd of Swamp Deer in Uttarakhand, along with elephants, leopards, and many others. Lush forests and grasslands paint the landscape, offering jeep safaris, birdwatching adventures, and a chance to breathe in fresh air. Whether you’re a nature lover or just seeking a unique escape, Jhilmil Jheel awaits!

Geography and History:

  • Location: The Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve is situated in the Haridwar district of Uttarakhand, India, on the left bank of the Ganga River.
  • Establishment: Declared as a Conservation Reserve in 2005, it was among the first in India.
  • Area: It covers an area of 37.83 sq km (9,349 acres) with diverse landscapes, including a saucer-shaped wetland at the center, a terai landscape with short and tall grasslands, tropical mixed forests, and secondary scrub. The altitude is low-lying, approximately 240 meters (800 ft).


The biodiversity of the Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve is rich and varied, encompassing a wide range of species across different taxa. Here’s a more detailed overview of the biodiversity within the reserve:


  • Swamp Deer (Barasingha): The reserve is known for hosting the critically endangered Swamp Deer, which is Uttarakhand’s only surviving herd.
  • Other Mammals: Various mammal species inhabit the reserve, including Chital (Spotted Deer), Sambar, Barking deer, Asian elephant, Nilgai (Blue Bull), Leopard, and occasional Tigers, among others.
  • Reptiles and Amphibians: The reserve is home to numerous reptile and amphibian species adapted to its diverse habitats.
  • Fish: Several fish species inhabit the water bodies within the reserve, contributing to its aquatic biodiversity.
Birds in Jhilmil Jheel
Birds in Jhilmil Jheel


  • Resident Birds: The reserve supports a diverse population of resident bird species, including raptors, waterfowl, songbirds, and more.
  • Winter Migrants: During the winter season, the reserve attracts migratory bird species from various regions, adding to its avian diversity.
  • Notable Species: Among the notable bird species found in the reserve are Hornbills, Pied Hornbill, Treepie, and many others, contributing to its ecological importance as a birdwatching destination.


  • Wetland Vegetation: The saucer-shaped wetland at the center of the reserve supports a unique assemblage of aquatic and semi-aquatic plant species.
  • Terai Vegetation: The terai landscape encompasses diverse vegetation types, including short and tall grasslands, tropical mixed forests, and secondary scrub, contributing to the overall biodiversity of the reserve.
Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve
Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve

Conservation Significance:

The Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve holds considerable conservation significance due to its role in protecting critical habitats, preserving biodiversity, and facilitating wildlife movement. Here are some key aspects of its conservation significance:

  • Habitat Protection: As a designated conservation reserve, Jhilmil Jheel safeguards diverse habitats such as wetlands, grasslands, forests, and scrublands. These habitats provide essential resources and shelter for a wide range of plant and animal species, including those that are threatened or endangered.
  • Endangered Species Protection: The reserve is particularly vital for the conservation of the critically endangered Swamp Deer (Barasingha). Being home to Uttarakhand’s only surviving herd of Swamp Deer, Jhilmil Jheel plays a crucial role in the survival and recovery of this species.
  • Biodiversity Conservation: By conserving a variety of ecosystems and supporting a rich diversity of flora and fauna, the reserve contributes significantly to overall biodiversity conservation in the region. It serves as a sanctuary for numerous species of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, including both resident and migratory species.
Deer herd near Jhilmil Jheel
Deer herd near Jhilmil Jheel
  • Wildlife Corridor: Jhilmil Jheel acts as a vital corridor for wildlife movement between different natural habitats. It facilitates the migration of animals, including large mammals like Asian elephants and tigers, between the reserve itself, Rajaji National Park, and other adjacent areas. This connectivity is crucial for maintaining genetic diversity and population viability among wildlife populations.
  • Ecological Education and Research: The reserve offers opportunities for ecological education, research, and monitoring. It provides a valuable setting for studying ecosystems, species interactions, and the impacts of human activities on natural habitats. Such research contributes to informed conservation management strategies and policies.
  • Tourism and Awareness: By allowing controlled tourism activities such as jeep safaris, birdwatching, and guided tours, Jhilmil Jheel promotes public awareness and appreciation of wildlife conservation. Visitors can learn about the importance of preserving natural ecosystems and the threats faced by endangered species, fostering a sense of stewardship and support for conservation efforts.

Tourism and Activities:

Elephants in Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve
Elephants in Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve
  • Jeep Safaris: Visitors can explore the reserve and observe wildlife in their natural habitat.
  • Birdwatching: Watchtowers offer excellent opportunities to spot diverse birdlife in Haridwar.
  • Nature Photography: The reserve provides opportunities for capturing stunning landscapes and wildlife encounters.
  • Educational Outings: Visitors can learn about the importance of conservation and local ecology through guided tours.
  • Additional Information: Managed by the Haridwar Forest Division, the reserve has entry fees and jeep safari charges. Guided tours are available for deeper insight, and it is open for tourism during specific seasons. It is located near Rajaji National Park, offering combined tours.

Additional Information:

Deers in Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve
Deers in Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve
  • Managed by the Haridwar Forest Division.
  • Entry fees and jeep safari charges apply.
  • Guided tours are available for deeper insight.
  • Open for tourism during specific seasons (check before visiting).
  • Located near Rajaji National Park, offers combined tours.


In short, the Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve in Uttarakhand, India, is a special place protecting animals and plants. It’s essential because it keeps endangered species safe, like the Swamp Deer. The reserve helps animals move around freely, and it’s also a good spot for people to learn about nature through activities like safaris and birdwatching. Overall, it’s a place where nature is cared for, and people can enjoy and appreciate its beauty while learning about conservation.

FAQs Related to Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve

1. What is the Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve?

It’s a protected area in Uttarakhand, India, where plants and animals are kept safe.

2. Can anyone visit the reserve?

Yes, visitors can go, but they may need to pay entry fees and follow rules to protect the environment.

3. What can visitors do there?

Visitors can go on safaris, watch birds, and learn about nature through guided tours.

4. How big is the reserve?

It covers an area of 37.83 sq km, with different habitats like wetlands and forests.

5. Who manages the reserve?

The reserve is managed by the Haridwar Forest Division.

6. What kinds of animals live in the reserve?

Various animals, including Swamp Deer, Chital, Sambar, elephants, leopards, and many others.

7. Are there any special bird species in the reserve?

Yes, there are birds like Hornbills, Pied Hornbills, and Treepies, among others.

8. How does the reserve help with conservation?

It protects critical habitats, provides a safe corridor for wildlife, and raises awareness through tourism and education.

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