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Location Nepal, Narayani
Central coordinates 84o 20.00' East  27o 28.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A3, A4i
Area 93,200 ha
Altitude 100 - 815m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Bird Conservation Nepal (Partner Designate)



Site description Chitwan was set up in 1973 as Nepal's first national park. Chitwan is an inner doon valley in the central terai of Nepal, between the Siwalik hills in the south and the Mahabharat hills to the north. In the east it is bordered by Parsa Wildlife Reserve. There are numerous small patches of grasslands varying in width from a few metres to 1500 m lying alongside the park’s rivers. Approximately 70% of the park is covered by Sal Shorea robusta forest (Laurie 1979); other lowland forest is riverine Acacia catechu/Dalbergia sissoo and a very small area is tropical evergreen forest. In the hills there is Chir Pine Pinus roxburghii and Terminalia-Agoneissus deciduous hill forest. The wetlands comprise the three major rivers of the park, the Narayani, Rapti and Reu, and their floodplains, which include several small lakes and pools and riverine forests (Gurung 1983).

Key Biodiversity The high total of 540 bird species has been recorded in Chitwan (Baral and Upadhyay 1998, Giri 1998, Giri et al. 1998, Giri and Choudhary 2000a,b,c, 2001, 2002, 2003, Tamang 2002). Species status given here is taken from Baral and Upadhyay (1998). As many as two-thirds of Nepal's globally threatened bird species have been recorded in Chitwan. The site is especially important for several grassland species, including Bengal Florican, Grey-crowned Prinia Prinia cinereocapilla and Slender-billed Babbler Turdoides longirostris, and also for Lesser Adjutant. It is the only Nepalese locality where the Slender-billed Babbler has been recorded and it may support a larger population than any other area in the Indian subcontinent. Chitwan is the only Nepal site where Grey-crowned Prinia is common and it may also hold the largest population in the species’ range (Inskipp and Inskipp 1991, Baral 2002c). The globally threatened Indian Spotted Eagle has bred in the park, one of its few known breeding localities in Nepal. The large proportion of 15 out of 23 of Nepal's near-threatened birds has been found in Chitwan. Well over half of them are wetland birds. Kashmir Flycatcher, a rare passage migrant to Chitwan, is the only restricted-range species recorded in the park and is also globally threatened. The park has large areas of grasslands as well as dry tropical and subtropical forests. These habitats are known to support significant populations of species characteristic of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, Indo-Malayan Tropical Dry Zone and Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forest biomes respectively.

Non-bird biodiversity: More than 50 species of mammals have been recorded at Chitwan. A large number of globally threatened species occur including; Indian Rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis (two thirds of its world population), Gaur Bos frontalis, Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus, Serow Capricornis sumatraensis, Tiger Panthera tigris, Asiatic Wild Dog Cuon alpinus, Striped Hyaena Hyaena hyaena, Sloth Bear Melursus ursinus, Chinese Pangolin Manis pentadactyla, Ganges River Dolphin Platanista gangetica, Smooth-coated Otter Lutrogale perspicillata, Gharial Gavialis gangeticus, Mugger Crocodile Crocodylus palustris etc (Laurie 1982, Gurung 1983, Hilton-Taylor 2000).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Brown-headed Barbet Psilopogon zeylanicus unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Lineated Barbet Psilopogon lineatus resident  1989  common  A3  Least Concern 
Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis resident  2004  rare  A1  Vulnerable 
Indian Peafowl Pavo cristatus resident  1989  common  A3  Least Concern 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca winter  2004  uncommon  A1  Near Threatened 
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus resident  2004  frequent  A1, A4i  Vulnerable 
Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius unknown  2004  unknown  A1  Endangered 
Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala breeding  2004  rare  A1  Near Threatened 
Black-necked Stork Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus non-breeding  2004  rare  A1  Near Threatened 
Red-naped Ibis Pseudibis papillosa resident  1989  common  A3  Least Concern 
Oriental Darter Anhinga melanogaster resident  2004  uncommon  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni passage  2004  rare  A1  Least Concern 
Laggar Falcon Falco jugger non-breeding  2004  rare  A1  Near Threatened 
Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus winter  2004  rare  A1  Vulnerable 
White-tailed Sea-eagle Haliaeetus albicilla winter  2004  rare  A1  Least Concern 
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis resident  2004  rare  A1, A3  Critically Endangered 
Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris resident  2004  rare  A1, A3  Critically Endangered 
Red-headed Vulture Sarcogyps calvus non-breeding  2004  rare  A1  Critically Endangered 
Cinereous Vulture Aegypius monachus winter  2004  rare  A1  Near Threatened 
Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus winter  2004  rare  A1  Near Threatened 
Indian Spotted Eagle Clanga hastata resident  2004  rare  A1  Vulnerable 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  2004  rare  A1  Vulnerable 
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca winter  2004  rare  A1  Vulnerable 
Lesser Fish-eagle Icthyophaga humilis resident  2004  rare  A1  Near Threatened 
Grey-headed Fish-eagle Icthyophaga ichthyaetus resident  2004  frequent  A1  Near Threatened 
White-eyed Buzzard Butastur teesa resident  1989  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis resident  2004  uncommon  A1, A3  Critically Endangered 
Lesser Florican Sypheotides indicus breeding  2004  rare  A1  Endangered 
Sarus Crane Antigone antigone non-breeding  2004  rare  A1  Vulnerable 
Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis non-breeding  2004  rare  A1  Vulnerable 
Black-bellied Tern Sterna acuticauda non-breeding  2004  rare  A1, A4i  Endangered 
Yellow-footed Green-pigeon Treron phoenicopterus resident  1989  common  A3  Least Concern 
Blossom-headed Parakeet Psittacula roseata unknown  2004  present  A3  Near Threatened 
Plum-headed Parakeet Psittacula cyanocephala resident  1989  common  A3  Least Concern 
Sirkeer Malkoha Taccocua leschenaultii resident  1989  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Dusky Eagle-owl Bubo coromandus resident  1989  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Indian Nightjar Caprimulgus asiaticus resident  1989  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Great Hornbill Buceros bicornis resident  2004  uncommon  A1  Near Threatened 
Indian Grey Hornbill Ocyceros birostris resident  1989  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Megalaima asiatica resident  1989  uncommon  A3  Not Recognised 
Dinopium benghalense resident  1989  uncommon  A3  Not Recognised 
Yellow-crowned Woodpecker Leiopicus mahrattensis resident  1989  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Himalayan Flameback Dinopium shorii resident  1989  common  A3  Least Concern 
Ashy Woodswallow Artamus fuscus resident  1989  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Common Woodshrike Tephrodornis pondicerianus resident  1989  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Black-winged Cuckooshrike Coracina melaschistos resident  1989  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Rosy Minivet Pericrocotus roseus unknown  1989  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus resident  1989  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
White-bellied Drongo Dicrurus caerulescens resident  1989  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Crow-billed Drongo Dicrurus annectans breeding  1989  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
White-browed Fantail Rhipidura aureola resident  1989  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Treepie Dendrocitta formosae unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Sultan Tit Melanochlora sultanea unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-winged Lark Mirafra assamica resident  1989  common  A3  Least Concern 
Indian Short-toed Lark Calandrella raytal resident  1989  common  A3  Least Concern 
Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark Eremopterix griseus resident  1989  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Striated Prinia Prinia crinigera unknown  1989  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-crowned Prinia Prinia cinereocapilla resident  2004  frequent  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Jungle Prinia Prinia sylvatica unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ashy Prinia Prinia socialis resident  1989  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Himalayan Bulbul Pycnonotus leucogenys resident  1989  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Bulbul Alophoixus flaveolus resident  1989  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Asian Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus resident  1989  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Bristled Grassbird Chaetornis striata breeding  2004  frequent  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Rufous-rumped Grassbird Graminicola bengalensis resident  2004  frequent  A1  Near Threatened 
Pale-footed Bush-warbler Cettia pallidipes resident  1989  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-babbler Pomatorhinus erythrogenys resident  1989  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-capped Babbler Stachyris ruficeps unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-chinned Babbler Stachyris pyrrhops resident  1989  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Tawny-bellied Babbler Dumetia hyperythra resident  1989  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Jerdon's Babbler Chrysomma altirostre resident  2004  rare  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Striated Babbler Turdoides earlei resident  1989  common  A3  Least Concern 
Slender-billed Babbler Turdoides longirostris resident  2004  frequent  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Jungle Babbler Turdoides striata resident  1989  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax monileger resident  1989  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax pectoralis resident  1989  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-necked Laughingthrush Garrulax ruficollis resident  1989  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Black-chinned Yuhina Yuhina nigrimenta unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bank Myna Acridotheres ginginianus resident  1989  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-tailed Starling Sturnus malabaricus resident  1989  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Brahminy Starling Sturnus pagodarum unknown  1989  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Indian Robin Saxicoloides fulicatus resident  1989  rare  A3  Least Concern 
Black-backed Forktail Enicurus immaculatus resident  1989  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Bushchat Saxicola insignis non-breeding  2004  rare  A1  Vulnerable 
White-tailed Stonechat Saxicola leucurus resident  1989  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Kashmir Flycatcher Ficedula subrubra passage  2004  rare  A1  Vulnerable 
Pale-chinned Blue-flycatcher Cyornis poliogenys resident  1989  common  A3  Least Concern 
Orange-bellied Leafbird Chloropsis hardwickii resident  1989  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Streaked Spiderhunter Arachnothera magna resident  1989  uncommon  A3  Least Concern 
Black-breasted Weaver Ploceus benghalensis resident  1989  frequent  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola passage  2004  frequent  A1  Endangered 

IBA Monitoring

2011 high unfavourable high
Population
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agricultural expansion and intensification annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Invasive and other problematic species and genes invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - unspecified species happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species gathering terrestrial plants - unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Residential and commercial development tourism and recreation areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads likely in long term (beyond 4 years) some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Forest   0 0 moderate (70-90%) moderate (70-90%) unfavourable
Grassland   0 0 poor (40-69%) poor (40-69%) very unfavourable
Wetlands (inland)   0 0 poor (40-69%) moderate (70-90%) very unfavourable

Houbaropsis bengalensis Bengal Florican 8 5 males only 63 unfavourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A comprehensive and appropriate management plan exists that aims to maintain or improve the populations of qualifying bird species  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  high 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Royal Chitwan National Park 93,200 is identical to site 93,200  
Royal Chitwan National Park - Buffer Zone 75,000 protected area is adjacent to site 0  
Royal Chitwan National Park World Heritage Site 93,200 is identical to site 93,200  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   -
Wetlands (inland)   -
Forest   -
Grassland   -

References Seidensticker (1976), Sunquist (1981), Gurung (1983), Mishra (1984), Smith (1984), Inskipp (1989a), Baral and Eames (1991), Mishra and Jefferies (1991), Sharma (1991), Green (1993), Sharma and Shaw (1993), Banskota et al. (1996), Dhakal (1996), King Mahendra Trust for Nature Conservation (1997), Baral and Upadhyay (1998), Khatri (1998), Sharma (1998), Pokharel and Dhakal (1998), Baral (1999, 2001), Dahal (1999), Inskipp (2001), Inskipp and Inskipp (1983, 2001b), Subedi (2001), Baral (2002c), Baral et al. (2002), Roberts et al. (2002), Tyabji (2002).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Chitwan National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/12/2014

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