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Location India, Arunachal Pradesh
Central coordinates 92o 10.00' East  27o 40.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 82,000 ha
Altitude 2,000 - 4,000m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Mago Thingbu is a high altitude area with characteristic forest types such as Mixed Broadleaf in the lower reaches to Temperate Coniferous Forest in the higher reaches. Most of the area remains permanently covered with snow; the international borders with China to the north and Bhutan to the west demarcate the area. There are large pure stands of Juniper forest, and some high altitude lakes, so winter nesting for birds is possible. There is very little information on the area.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Notable is the Wood Snipe Gallinago nemoricola, of which one was collected and many seen in the hills west of Mago, at 4,250 m in 1934 (Ludlow and Kinnear 1937). The present status of this globally threatened species is not known.

According to A. U. Choudhury (pers. comm. 2003), the endangered White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata is likely to occur at the lower reaches, while Sclater’s Monal Lophophorus sclateri would be present above 3,000 m. Extensive tracts of Subtropical Dry Evergreen and Broadleaf Hill Forest still exist in this IBA, that are extremely important for Vulnerable species such as Pale-capped Pigeon Columba punicea, Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa and Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis. Perhaps, significant populations of these species are found here (Dey 2003). Among the Near Threatened species, only Blue-naped Pitta Pitta nipalensis has been identified till now, but more bird species of this category are likely to be present.

The site lies in Eastern Himalaya Endemic Bird Area (EBA 130) in which Stattersfield et al. (1998) have listed 21 species as Restricted Range. Three species are known to occur at this site.

This site also has two biomes: Biome-7 (Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest) and Biome-5 (Eurasian High Montane- Alpine and Tibetan), according to the classification of BirdLife International (undated). Only three species of Biome-5 have been seen, out of the 48 listed by BirdLife International. There is a long list of 112 species of Biome-7 but only nine bird species could be identified till now. This is more due to lack of proper detailed study than due to paucity of birds.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: No information.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Sclater's Monal Lophophorus sclateri resident  2004  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
White-winged Duck Asarcornis scutulata resident  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Pale-capped Pigeon Columba punicea resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis resident  2004  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
White-cheeked Tit Aegithalos leucogenys resident  2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Striped Laughingthrush Garrulax virgatus resident  2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Ludlow's Fulvetta Alcippe ludlowi resident  2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Grey Sibia Heterophasia gracilis resident  2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa resident  2004  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 


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

Acknowledgements Key contributor: B. B. Bhatt.


BirdLife International (undated) Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Asia: Project briefing book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K., Unpublished.

Dey, B. (2003) Report on survey of unexplored Important Bird Area (IBA) of Arunachal Pradesh. Report submitted to the Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai. Ludlow, Pp.11.

Ludlow, F. and Kinnear, N. (1937) The birds of Bhutan and adjacent territories of Sikkim and Tibet. Ibis 14(1): 1-46, 249-293, 467-504.

Stattersfield, A. J., Crosby, M. J., Long, A. J. and Wege, D. C. (1998) Endemic Bird Areas of the World: Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation. BirdLife Conservation Series No. 7. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Magu Thingbu. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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