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Location India, Arunachal Pradesh
Central coordinates 93o 51.00' East  27o 41.40' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 51,587 ha
Altitude 120 - 3,000m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society



Site description A portion of the Taley Valley Reserved Forest in Lower Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh with an area of 337 sq. km. was declared as a wildlife sanctuary on July 14, 1995. The area of the Reserve Forest is c. 51,587 ha. We have considered the whole Reserve Forest and the Wildlife Sanctuary as an IBA.The Valley proper lies about 30 km away from the district headquarters, Hapoli.The area lies between the Subansiri, Supu and Pange rivers.It is surrounded by gentle sloping hills, clothed densely with thick vegetation. There are two main valleys: the Pange Valley and the Taley Valley. Small rivers, flowing through these valleys, have formed deep gorges and rapid waterfalls. The smaller streams drain into the Subansiri river which ultimately joins the mighty Brahmaputra. The hills are gently sloping, except for a few peaks that are very steep. The following forest types are found in Taley Valley area: East Himalayan Subtropical Forest, East Himalayan Wet Temperate Forest, Lauraceae Forest, Oak Forest, High-level Oak Forest and East Himalayan Mixed Coniferous Forest (Haridasan et al. 1999). The site is a refuge to a few rare and endangered plants, and abounds with economically important plants. Tale Valley is also known for dense growth of bamboo. Five species of bamboo are recorded of which Pleioblastus simonii is known in India only from here (Haridasan et al.1999). Taxus baccata, the Yew tree, that has come under increasing pressure from illegal collectors due to its medicinal property is still seen in Taley Valley. Taley Valley shows some very interesting phenomena as far as vegetation is concerned. Normally, in altitudinal succession of vegetation types, coniferous forest appears above the broadleaf type. Here, it is the reverse. The coniferous forest appears in the valleys, while broadleaf trees are seen on the hilltops. Some plants found in the area are extremely rare and highly endangered. Some like Paphiopedilum wardii are believed to be extinct. Yet others are known only from restricted localities in Arunachal Pradesh, that too only for a limited time. Some species, that are locally abundant, are rare at the national or global level. In such instances, we need to make greater efforts to conserve the plants for the benefit of mankind (Haridasan et al. 1999).

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: About 159 bird species have been recorded in Taley Valley WLS so far (Singh 1994). Most of these species breed here, enhancing the importance of this IBA site. The only globally threatened species confirmed from this area is the Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis. Presence of Blyth’s Tragopan Tragopan blythii, another threatened species, has yet to be confirmed, though the related, Temminck’s Tragopan Tragopan temminckii is reported. A few notable bird records from this IBA site are the Purple Cochoa Cochoa purpurea, the only record of the species from Arunachal Pradesh (Singh 1994). This rare species is reported to breed in Taley Valley forests. A record of Yellow-rumped Honeyguide Indicator xanthonotus is the second record of the species from the state.

The Eurasian Tree-creeper Certhia familiaris, a bird of the Western Himalaya, was first noted by Singh (1994) from Taley Valley, which is a considerable eastward extension of its range in the Himalaya. Another first record from Arunachal Pradesh is that of the Silver-backed Needletail Hirundapus cochinchinensis. It was seen by Singh (1994) in March 1994 at an elevation of 2,400 m.

Of the 21 species recorded in India in the Eastern Himalayas EBA (Stattersfield et al. 1998) 10 have been reported from this IBA. There are not many IBAs in this EBA where so many Restricted Range species are found

Due to altitudinal variation from 120 m to 3,000 m, this site represents three biomes: Biome-7 (Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest), Biome-8 (Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forest) and Biome-9 (Indo-Chinese Tropical Moist Forest). A total of 58 biome species are found in this IBA but they are too many to list here. Some of the interesting species seen here are Common Hill-Partridge Arborophila torqueola, Striated Laughingthrush Garrulax striatus, Slender-billed Scimitar-babbler Xiphirhynchus superciliaris, Rusty-flanked Tree-creeper Certhia nipalensis, Crimson-browed Finch Pinicola subhimachala, Brown Bullfinch Pyrrhula nipalensis, Rusty-fronted Barwing Actinodura egertoni, Red-headed Tit Aegithalos concinnus, Black-spotted Yellow Tit Parus spilonotus and Black-throated Sunbird Aethopyga saturata.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: The Taley valley is famous for rare and elusive cats such as the Clouded leopard Neofelis nebulosa and Golden Cat Catopuma temmincki. Some other mammals found in the area are Tiger Panthera tigris, Leopard P. pardus, Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis, Capped Langur Trachypithecus pileatus, Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus and Chinese pangolin Manis crassicaudata.

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 
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 
Rufous-throated Wren-babbler Spelaeornis caudatus 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 
Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Rusty-bellied Shortwing Brachypteryx hyperythra resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Near Threatened 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Tale Valley Sanctuary 33,700 protected area contained by site 33,700  

Habitats

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

Acknowledgements Key contributors: B. B. Bhatt, K. Haridasan, P. Singh, R. Suresh Kumar, Bikul Goswami and Manju Menon.

References 

Haridasan, K., Borang, A. and Singh, P. (1999) Baseline survey of biodiversity in high priority biological rich areas of Arunachal Pradesh. State Forest Research Institute, Itanagar.

Singh, P. (1994) Recent bird records from Arunachal Pradesh. 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 International, Cambridge

Vaholikar, N. and Ahmed, F. (2003) Tracking a Hydel Project the story of Lower Subansiri. The Ecologist, Asia. 11(1): 25-32.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Taley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/12/2014

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