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Location Nepal, Mechi
Central coordinates 88o 8.00' East  27o 42.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 203,500 ha
Altitude 1,200 - 8,567m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Bird Conservation Nepal (Partner Designate)



Site description Kanchenjunga Conservation Area lies at the extreme northeastern corner of Nepal. It was designated in 1997 and is the newest of Nepal's protected areas. The Conservation Area supports many species of flora and fauna that are characteristic of the eastern Himalaya. The Qomolongma National Nature Reserve of China lies to the north and the Kanchenjunga National Park in Sikkim in India to the east. The Conservation Area comprises rocks and ice (64 per cent), forests (16.1 per cent), shrubland (10.1 per cent), grassland (9.2 per cent), agricultural land (0.5 per cent) and lake and landslide (0.1 per cent) (KCAP 2003 based on topo map 1978). Mount Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world (8586m), lies within the Area. There are four main river valleys: the Simbua Khola and the Ghunsa, Kabeli and Tamur. The vegetation ranges from subtropical to alpine. Subtropical vegetation comprises moist broadleaved forests of mixed Schima wallichii, Engelhardtia spicata etc, Schima wallichii/Castanopsis tribuloides and C. tribuloides/C. hystrix. In the temperate zone there are moist broadleaved forests of oak/laurel dominated by Quercus glauca, Q. lamellosa and C. tribuloides etc, Q. lamellosa forests, Q. semecarpifolia forests and mixed broadleaved/coniferous forests of Q. semecarpifolia/Tsuga dumosa/Abies spectabilis/Betula utilis/Rhododendron arboreum etc. The subalpine zone has a wide range of forest types: Tsuga dumosa/Abies spectabilis forest, Abies spectabilis forest, Larix griffithiana forest, Juniperus indica forest, Rhododendron forests and Betula forest. Vegetation in the alpine zone consists of scrub and meadows (Rastogi et al. 1997).

Key Biodiversity As many as 279 bird species have been recorded in the Conservation Area, but many more are likely to occur (White and White 1992, 1994, 1997), Halberg (1994), Brown 1995, KCAMC 2003, BCN in preparation). The status of bird species in the Area is uncertain. Considering the Area's location and the high quality of extensive remaining forests (see Conservation Issues section below) it is likely to be important for many east Himalayan species, including several species from the East Himalayan Endemic Bird Area. There are large temperate forest and alpine zone areas that are likely to support significant populations of characteristic species of the Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest and Eurasian High Montane biomes. A recent study has pointed out that a total of 844 species of flora has been found in the area (KCAMC 2003).

Non-bird biodiversity: Globally threatened mammals include the Assam Macaque Macaca assamensis, Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus, Snow Leopard Uncia uncia, Himalayan Musk Deer Moschus chrysogaster, Serow Capricornis sumatraensis and Red Panda Ailurus fulgens.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Snow Partridge Lerwa lerwa resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Tibetan Snowcock Tetraogallus tibetanus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Tibetan Partridge Perdix hodgsoniae resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Hill Partridge Arborophila torqueola resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blood Pheasant Ithaginis cruentus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Satyr Tragopan Tragopan satyra resident  2004  unknown  A1  Near Threatened 
Himalayan Monal Lophophorus impejanus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Himalayan Griffon Gyps himalayensis resident  2004  present  A3  Near Threatened 
Solitary Snipe Gallinago solitaria unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Wood Snipe Gallinago nemoricola breeding  2004  unknown  A1  Vulnerable 
Snow Pigeon Columba leuconota resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Speckled Woodpigeon Columba hodgsonii resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Megalaima asiatica resident  2004  present  A3  Not Recognised 
Darjeeling Woodpecker Dendrocopos darjellensis resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Himalayan Woodpecker Dendrocopos himalayensis unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bay Woodpecker Blythipicus pyrrhotis resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-winged Cuckooshrike Coracina melaschistos resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Short-billed Minivet Pericrocotus brevirostris resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-backed Shrike Lanius tephronotus breeding  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Maroon Oriole Oriolus traillii resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Gold-billed Magpie Urocissa flavirostris resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey Treepie Dendrocitta formosae resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-vented Tit Parus rubidiventris resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-crested Tit Parus dichrous resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green-backed Tit Parus monticolus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-browed Tit Sylviparus modestus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Nepal House-martin Delichon nipalense resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-throated Tit Aegithalos concinnus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-browed Tit Aegithalos iouschistos resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Striated Prinia Prinia crinigera resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Himalayan Bulbul Pycnonotus leucogenys resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Mountain Bulbul Hypsipetes mcclellandii resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Asian Black Bulbul Hypsipetes leucocephalus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-headed Tesia Tesia castaneocoronata resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-bellied Tesia Tesia cyaniventer resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Aberrant Bush-warbler Cettia flavolivacea resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Hume's Bush-warbler Cettia brunnescens resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-sided Bush-warbler Cettia brunnifrons resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Smoky Warbler Phylloscopus fuligiventer resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Tickell's Leaf-warbler Phylloscopus affinis breeding  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Buff-barred Warbler Phylloscopus pulcher breeding  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ashy-throated Warbler Phylloscopus maculipennis breeding  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Large-billed Leaf-warbler Phylloscopus magnirostris breeding  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-hooded Warbler Phylloscopus xanthoschistos resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-faced Warbler Abroscopus schisticeps resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Laughingthrush Garrulax albogularis unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Streaked Laughingthrush Garrulax lineatus unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Scaly-breasted Wren-babbler Pnoepyga albiventer unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rusty-cheeked Scimitar-babbler Pomatorhinus erythrogenys resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Slender-billed Scimitar-babbler Xiphirhynchus superciliaris resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Spiny Babbler Turdoides nipalensis resident  2004  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Striated Laughingthrush Garrulax striatus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Spotted Laughingthrush Garrulax ocellatus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Scaly Laughingthrush Garrulax subunicolor resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-faced Laughingthrush Garrulax affinis resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-billed Leiothrix Leiothrix lutea resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green Shrike-babbler Pteruthius xanthochlorus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rusty-fronted Barwing Actinodura egertoni resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Hoary-throated Barwing Actinodura nipalensis resident  2004  unknown  A2  Least Concern 
Blue-winged Minla Minla cyanouroptera resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-tailed Minla Minla strigula resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-tailed Minla Minla ignotincta resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Golden-breasted Fulvetta Alcippe chrysotis resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-browed Fulvetta Alcippe vinipectus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous Sibia Heterophasia capistrata resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Stripe-throated Yuhina Yuhina gularis resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-vented Yuhina Yuhina occipitalis resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fulvous Parrotbill Paradoxornis fulvifrons resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fire-tailed Myzornis Myzornis pyrrhoura resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-tailed Nuthatch Sitta himalayensis resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Wallcreeper Tichodroma muraria resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rusty-flanked Treecreeper Certhia nipalensis resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Long-billed Thrush Zoothera monticola resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-collared Blackbird Turdus albocinctus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut Thrush Turdus rubrocanus winter  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Indian Blue Robin Luscinia brunnea breeding  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Golden Bush-robin Tarsiger chrysaeus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-browed Bush-robin Tarsiger indicus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-breasted Bush-robin Tarsiger hyperythrus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Redstart Phoenicurus schisticeps resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Slaty-backed Forktail Enicurus schistaceus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-capped Rock-thrush Monticola cinclorhynchus breeding  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ferruginous Flycatcher Muscicapa ferruginea breeding  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher Ficedula strophiata resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-gorgeted Flycatcher Ficedula monileger resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ultramarine Flycatcher Ficedula superciliaris breeding  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Slaty-blue Flycatcher Ficedula tricolor breeding  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Small Niltava Niltava macgrigoriae resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-bellied Niltava Niltava sundara resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Orange-bellied Leafbird Chloropsis hardwickii resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-bellied Flowerpecker Dicaeum melanoxanthum resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Fire-tailed Sunbird Aethopyga ignicauda resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Plain-backed Snowfinch Montifringilla blanfordi resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Alpine Accentor Prunella collaris resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-streaked Accentor Prunella himalayana unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Robin Accentor Prunella rubeculoides resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-breasted Accentor Prunella strophiata resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Maroon-backed Accentor Prunella immaculata resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rosy Pipit Anthus roseatus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-breasted Greenfinch Carduelis spinoides breeding  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Plain Mountain-finch Leucosticte nemoricola resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Crimson Rosefinch Carpodacus rubescens resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dark-breasted Rosefinch Carpodacus nipalensis resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Beautiful Rosefinch Carpodacus pulcherrimus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pink-browed Rosefinch Carpodacus rodochroa resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Spot-winged Rosefinch Carpodacus rodopeplus breeding  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-browed Rosefinch Carpodacus thura resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-fronted Rosefinch Carpodacus puniceus resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Crimson-browed Finch Pinicola subhimachala resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Scarlet Finch Haematospiza sipahi resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Brown Bullfinch Pyrrhula nipalensis resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-headed Bullfinch Pyrrhula erythrocephala resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Collared Grosbeak Mycerobas affinis resident  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Gold-naped Finch Pyrrhoplectes epauletta breeding  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2011 high very unfavourable medium
Habitat
Medium - based upon reliable but incomplete / partially representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Biological resource use fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Biological resource use gathering terrestrial plants - unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Energy production and mining renewable energy happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads happening now 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%) moderate (70-90%) very unfavourable

Whole area of site (>90%) covered by appropriate conservation designation  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Some limited conservation initiatives are in place  medium 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kanchanjunga Conservation Area 203,500 is identical to site 203,500  

Habitats

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

References Rastogi et al. (1997), WWF Nepal Program (2000a, b), KCAP (2003), WWF Nepal (undated b), BCN (in preparation).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Kanchenjungha Conservation Area. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/05/2016

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