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Location India, Arunachal Pradesh
Central coordinates 94o 30.00' East  28o 30.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 250,000 ha
Altitude 1,300 - 5,000m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description This large IBA covers the forests and snow-covered peaks of the Great Himalaya in the northern part of Arunachal Pradesh. It is also the easternmost limit of the Great Himalaya in India, and adjoins Namcha Barwa peak of Tibet. The site covers Mechuka, Monigong, Tato and Jorgging, extending to the Siang river near Tuting and Gelling near its 'great bend' where the river enters India. This IBA is a source of many tributaries of the Siang river, including the Siyom. The area is entirely mountainous with a valley at Mechuka, which is excluded from the IBA, as it is inhabited. The vegetation type ranges from Subtropical Broadleaf and Sub-tropical Pine forest on the lower slopes and river gorges, to Sub-alpine forest in the higher reaches. The tops and ridges of the Great Himalaya are covered with subalpine and alpine scrub, while the peaks are barren, and snow-capped for the greater part of the year (Choudhury 2003a). A large part of this IBA is inaccessible, thus ensuring the existence of pristine wilderness to a great extent. This IBA has a long border with Tibet (China). Very few surveys were done in the area. Tuting was also visited by Dr. Sálim Ali (Gee 1964). Singh (1994) made mention of Migging-Pango-Tuting track, while there was a survey for tragopans in Monigong (Dipankar Ghose pers. comm. 2002). A rapid survey under IBCN was carried out in Mechuka-Tato in November 2002 (Choudhury 2003a).

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: At least 110 bird species have been listed but it is apparent that there may be more than 250. This large IBA with difficult terrain needs many surveys for a full assessment of its rich bird life. So far, the presence of five Vulnerable species has been confirmed. Blyth's Tragopan Tragopan blythii and Sclater's Monal Lophophorus sclateri occurs widely, the Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis has been recorded only below Tato. The Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa was sighted near Mechuka while an Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca was spotted between Tuting and Gelling. The Red-breasted Hill-Partridge Arborophila mandellii was reported but needs confirmation (A. U. Choudhury pers. comm. 2003).

Although only four Restricted Range species were recorded during brief surveys, more species are likely to occur. Among the noteworthy species recorded were Temminck's Tragopan Tragopan temminckii and Upland Buzzard Buteo hemilasius in Mechuka, Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos between Tuting and Gelling, and a species new to India, the Blue-and-White Flycatcher Cynoptila cyanomelana (Choudhury 2003b).

The site lies in the Eastern Himalayas Endemic Bird Area (EBA 130) (Stattersfield et al. 1998). Out of the 21 species listed in this EBA, two have been seen in this IBA but there are chances that more species are found here.

Thanks to its altitudinal variation from 1,300 to 5,000 m, three biomes are found in this IBA: Biome 5: Eurasian High Montane; Biome 7: Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest; and Biome 8: Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forest.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Among the major mammals are the Snow Leopard Uncia uncia, Tiger Panthera tigris, Leopard P. pardus, Clouded leopard Neofelis nebulosa, Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus, Red Panda Ailurus fulgens, Musk Deer Moschus chrysogaster and Takin Budorcas taxicolor (Choudhury 2003c).

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  Vulnerable 
Blyth's Tragopan Tragopan blythii resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Streak-throated Barwing Actinodura waldeni resident  2004  present  A2  Least Concern 
Beautiful Sibia Heterophasia pulchella resident  2004  present  A2  Least Concern 
Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 


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

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Anwaruddin Choudhury, Bikul Goswami, Hakim and Tape Mosing.


Choudhury, A. U. (2003a) Survey of birds in Mechuka-Monigong areas of West Siang district, Arunachal Pradesh. Submitted to the Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai.

Choudhury, A. U. (2003b) The Rhino Foundation for nature in NE India, 2002-03. The Rhino Foundation for nature in NE India Newsletter 5: 1-5.

Choudhury, A. U. (2003c) The mammals of Arunachal Pradesh. Regency Publications, New Delhi.

Gee, E. P. (1964) The Wild Life of India. Collins, London.

Singh, P. (1994) Recent bird records from Arunachal Pradesh, India. Forktail 10: 65-104.

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: Mechuka - Monigong - Jorgging. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016

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