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Location India, Andaman and Nicobar
Central coordinates 94o 16.68' East  13o 27.88' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 681 ha
Altitude 0 - 40m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Narcondam is a very small (681 ha) island, located about 140 km east of the nearest inhabited island Diglipur in the North Andaman group. The island is of volcanic origin and rises steeply to a central peak of 706 m. It is almost entirely covered with Evergreen and Moist Deciduous forest. Grassy slopes dominate the southern and southeast aspects of the hill (BirdLife International 2001). The island was notified as a sanctuary to protect the globally Threatened and highly endemic Narcondam Hornbill Aceros narcondami, which is restricted to this tiny island. As Narcondam Island is remote and difficult to reach, there have been only seven to eight visits by ornithologists to date: Osmaston (1905), Baker (1927), Abdulali (1971,1974), Hussain (1984), Vijayan and Sankaran, (2000) and Yahya and Zarri (2000, 2002a). The island is covered with Tropical Evergreen forest, Semievergreen forest, Moist Deciduous forest, Littoral forest and Mangrove forest (Pande et al. 1991). The island bears old, dead and decaying trees, interlaced with thorny creepers and luxuriantly flowering tall trees (Yahya and Zarri 2002a). The flora on the higher reaches of the hill is mostly evergreen and consists of Dipterocarpus, Sideroxylon and Ficus trees. However, some deciduous species (Bombax insigne) are also present. The vegetation towards the summit is mostly Moist Evergreen with several epiphytes. The lower hills following the shoreline have both deciduous and evergreen trees such as Terminalia catappa, T. bialata and Caryota mitis. The shoreline has some introduced species such as coconut and banana.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Andaman Scops-owl Otus balli resident  2004  present  A2  Near Threatened 
Narcondam Hornbill Rhyticeros narcondami resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Endangered 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Narcondam Island Sanctuary 681 is identical to site 681  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   -
Coastline   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
military -
Notes: Police outpost
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Ravi Sankaran, Ashfaq Ahmed Zarri and H. S. A. Yahya.


Abdulali, H. (1971) Narcondam island and notes on some birds from the Andaman islands. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc 68: 385-411.

Abdulali, H. (1974) The fauna of the Narcondam Island Part 1. Birds. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 71: 498-505.

Ali, S. and Ripley, S. D. (1987) Compact Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan (Second Edition). Oxford University Press, Delhi.

Baker, E. C. S. (1927) Fauna of British India. Vol. 4: 456.

BirdLife International (2001) Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book, BirdLife International Cambridge, U.K.

Daniel, J. C. (2002) The Book of Indian Reptiles and Amphibians. Bombay Natural History Society. Mumbai.

Hussain, S. A. (1984) Some aspects of the biology and ecology of Narcondam Hornbill (Rhyticeros narcondami). J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 81 (1): 1-18

Osmaston, B. B. (1905) A visit to Narcondam. J. Bombay Nat. His. Soc. 16: 620-622.

Pande, P., Kothari, A. and Singh, S. (eds) (1991) Directory of National Parks and Sanctuaries in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Management Status and Profiles, Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi, India.

Vijayan, L. and Sankaran, R. (2000) A Study of the Ecology, Status and Conservation Perspectives of Certain Rare Endemic Avifauna of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Final Report. Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Coimbatore. PP. 184.

Yahya, H. S. A. and Zarri, A. A. (2000) Status, Ecology and Behaviour of Narcondam Hornbill (Aceros narcondami) in Narcondam Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. Report submitted to the Department of Wildlife Sciences, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh. Pp 178.

Yahya, H. S. A. and Zarri, A. A. (2002a) Status, Ecology and Behaviour of Narcondam Hornbill (Aceros narcondami) in Narcondam Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. J. Bom. Nat. Hist. 99(3): 434- 445.

Yahya, H. S. A. and Zarri, A. A. (2002b) White Tern Gygis alba sighted at Narcondam Island, Bay of Bengal, India. Forktail 18: 148-149.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Narcondam Island Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 23/09/2014

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