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Location India, Arunachal Pradesh
Central coordinates 95o 49.18' East  28o 12.50' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 28,150 ha
Altitude 400 - 3,560m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description The Sanctuary was named after the Mehao Lake. The terrain of the Sanctuary is hilly, clothed with Tropical Evergreen Forests. The under-storey is also thickly covered with undergrowth. There are two major lakes inside the Sanctuary, Mehao and Sally. The Mehao lake (<200 ha) is situated at an altitude of 1,640 m and Sally (2 ha) is at 520 m. The Mehao Lake originated as a result of the 1950 earthquake. Mehao WLS is thinly populated and most of the areas have not yet been named. There is only one fair-weather jeepable road passing through the Sanctuary from Roing to Hunli (Chakraborty and Sen 1991). Topographically, the terrain is entirely hilly, varying in altitude from 400 m to 3,560 m. A number of perennial fast flowing streams drain the Sanctuary, notably the Iphipani, Eje, Eme, Aba and Difu. The Sanctuary forms a part of the catchment area of the Brahmaputra river. Peaks above 2,000 m experience above snowfall. The Sanctuary is located on the windward side of the Eastern Himalayas so it receives heavy rainfall both from the southwest and the northeast monsoons. It rains nearly half of the year (Chakraborty and Sen 1991). Areas converted due to jhum cultivation earlier, are being covered with bamboo and other secondary vegetation. Cane is common in humid areas.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Chestnut-breasted Partridge Arborophila mandellii resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Blyth's Tragopan Tragopan blythii resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
White-winged Duck Asarcornis scutulata resident  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Pale-capped Pigeon Columba punicea resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Yellow-vented Warbler Phylloscopus cantator 2004  present  A2  Least Concern 
Broad-billed Warbler Tickellia hodgsoni 2004  present  A2  Least Concern 
Blackish-breasted Babbler Sphenocichla humei resident  2004  present  A2  Near Threatened 
Streak-throated Barwing Actinodura waldeni 2004  present  A2  Least Concern 
Ludlow's Fulvetta Alcippe ludlowi 2004  present  A2  Least Concern 
Beautiful Sibia Heterophasia pulchella 2004  present  A2  Least Concern 
White-naped Yuhina Yuhina bakeri 2004  present  A2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Mehao Sanctuary 28,150 is identical to site 28,150  


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

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Kulojyoti Lakhar, Anwaruddin Choudhury and Madhusan Katti.


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

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

Chakraborty, S. and Sen, A. K. (1991) Mammals of the Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary (Dibang Valley District, Arunachal Pradesh) with remarks on their status. Rec. zool. Surv. India 88 (3&4): 263-285.

Choudhury, A. U. (1995) White-winged Wood Duck in Mehao and Pakhui Sanctuaries, Arunachal Pradesh. IWRB TWRG Newsletter 7: 12.

Choudhury, A. U. (2000) The Birds of Assam. Gibbon Books and World Wide Fund for Nature-Northeast Regional Office, Guwahati. Pp. 240.

Katti, M., Singh, P., Manjrekar, N., Sharma, D. and Mukherjee, S (1992) An ornithological survey in eastern Arunachal Pradesh, India. Forktail 7: 75-89.

Lightfoot, G. S. (1940) On the occurrence of Hume’s Wedge-billed Wren (Sphenocichla humei Mandelli) in the Aka Hills, Assam. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 41: 418-420.

Rasmussen, P. C. and Anderton, J. C. (in press) Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Ripley, S. D., Saha, S. S. and Beehler, B. M. (1991) Notes on birds from the Upper Nao Dihing, Arunachal Pradesh, Northeastern India. Bull Brit. Orn. Club 111(1): 19-28.

Sinha, B. C. (1984) A write up on Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary. (Unpublished).

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.

Stevens, H. (1914) Notes on the birds of upper Assam. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 23: 234-268.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 19/09/2014

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