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Location Nepal, Karnali
Central coordinates 82o 5.00' East  29o 34.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 10,600 ha
Altitude 2,800 - 4,048m
Year of IBA assessment 2005

Bird Conservation Nepal (Partner Designate)



Site description Rara National Park, the smallest protected area in Nepal lies in the northwest of the country in Mugu and Jumla districts. Lake Rara, Nepal’s largest lake,, is the most prominent feature in this national park; it has an area of 1036ha and has a maximum depth of 167m. Rooted vegetation is confined entirely to the margins and is patchy in distribution as the rocky edges of the lake shelve steeply in places (Barber 1990). Forest types comprise upper temperate Pinus wallichiana (sometimes mixed with Quercus semecarpifolia) and Juniperus spp., and subalpine forests of Abies spectabilis, Betula utilis, Juniperus spp. and Rhododendron spp. (Inskipp 1989a). Except for a moist marshland on the south shore of the lake the pastures are mainly tussock grasslands on the ridges and above the tree-line (Barber (1990).

Key Biodiversity A total of 235 has been recorded (Giri 2005), but the park is very under-recorded. The national park could be especially important for Cheer Pheasant, a globally threatened and restricted-range species; a survey for the species in the park is being carried out in spring 2005 (Budthapa in prep.). The park is also important for White-throated Tit and Kashmir Nuthatch, two other restricted-range species from the Western EBA, which are both resident in the park. The lake is a valuable staging post for migrating wetland birds; around 40 species have been recorded so far, although only small numbers are involved. Rara National Park has large temperate forest and alpine zone areas. These support significant populations of characteristic species of the Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest and Eurasian High Montane biomes respectively.

Non-bird biodiversity: Globally threatened mammals include the Red Panda Ailurus fulgens, Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus and Himalayan Musk Deer Moschus chrysogaster (Hilton-Taylor 2000). The lake has some endemic fish species (Prof. Jiwan Shrestha verbally 2000).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichii resident  2004  rare  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Snow Partridge Lerwa lerwa unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Himalayan Snowcock Tetraogallus himalayensis resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Tibetan Partridge Perdix hodgsoniae unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Hill Partridge Arborophila torqueola unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Himalayan Monal Lophophorus impejanus resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ferruginous Duck Aythya nyroca passage  2004  frequent  A1  Near Threatened 
Himalayan Griffon Gyps himalayensis resident  1989  present  A3  Near Threatened 
Snow Pigeon Columba leuconota unknown  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Himalayan Woodpecker Dendrocopos himalayensis resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-backed Shrike Lanius tephronotus breeding  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Gold-billed Magpie Urocissa flavirostris breeding  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-billed Chough Pyrrhocorax graculus unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Coal Tit Parus ater unknown  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Dark-grey Tit Parus rufonuchalis resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-vented Tit Parus rubidiventris resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Grey-crested Tit Parus dichrous resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Green-backed Tit Parus monticolus breeding  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Nepal House-martin Delichon nipalense unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Tit Aegithalos niveogularis resident  2004  frequent  A2  Least Concern 
Tickell's Leaf-warbler Phylloscopus affinis unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Buff-barred Warbler Phylloscopus pulcher resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Large-billed Leaf-warbler Phylloscopus magnirostris breeding  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Laughingthrush Garrulax albogularis unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Streaked Laughingthrush Garrulax lineatus breeding  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Spotted Laughingthrush Garrulax ocellatus resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Variegated Laughingthrush Garrulax variegatus resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-faced Laughingthrush Garrulax affinis unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Chestnut-tailed Minla Minla strigula breeding  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-browed Fulvetta Alcippe vinipectus resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Stripe-throated Yuhina Yuhina gularis resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Kashmir Nuthatch Sitta cashmirensis resident  2004  frequent  A2  Least Concern 
White-cheeked Nuthatch Sitta leucopsis resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Bar-tailed Treecreeper Certhia himalayana resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rusty-flanked Treecreeper Certhia nipalensis resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-collared Blackbird Turdus albocinctus resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-tailed Rubythroat Luscinia pectoralis unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Indian Blue Robin Luscinia brunnea unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Blue-capped Redstart Phoenicurus caeruleocephala breeding  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
White-throated Redstart Phoenicurus schisticeps unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rusty-tailed Flycatcher Muscicapa ruficauda breeding  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-gorgeted Flycatcher Ficedula strophiata breeding  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Ultramarine Flycatcher Ficedula superciliaris breeding  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Slaty-blue Flycatcher Ficedula tricolor breeding  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rufous-breasted Accentor Prunella strophiata resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Rosy Pipit Anthus roseatus unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Yellow-breasted Greenfinch Carduelis spinoides breeding  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Plain Mountain-finch Leucosticte nemoricola resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Beautiful Rosefinch Carpodacus pulcherrimus resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Pink-browed Rosefinch Carpodacus rodochroa resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Red-headed Bullfinch Pyrrhula erythrocephala resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 
Black-and-yellow Grosbeak Mycerobas icterioides unknown  2004  present  A3  Least Concern 
Collared Grosbeak Mycerobas affinis resident  1989  present  A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

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

Agricultural expansion and intensification annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species gathering terrestrial plants - unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Over-exploitation, persecution and control of species logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Forest Montane coniferous forest (mont temp/subtrop)  0 0 moderate (70-90%) moderate (70-90%) unfavourable
Forest Montane mixed broadleaf-coniferous forest  0 0 moderate (70-90%) good (> 90%) near favourable
Grassland Alpine and subalpine grassland  0 0 good (> 90%) moderate (70-90%) near favourable

Catreus wallichii Cheer Pheasant 1 1 individuals 100 not assessed

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)  
Rara National Park 10,600 is identical to site 10,600  
Rara Lake Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 1,583 protected area contained by site 1,583  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Artificial - terrestrial   -
Forest Montane coniferous forest (mont temp/subtrop); Montane mixed broadleaf-coniferous forest  80%
Grassland Alpine and subalpine grassland  10%
Wetlands (inland) Freshwater lakes and pools  10%

References Barber (1990), Green (1993), Giri (2005).

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Rara National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/12/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife