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Location India, Arunachal Pradesh
Central coordinates 96o 5.00' East  27o 53.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4i
Area 20,000 ha
Altitude 150 m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description The chapories (=riverine islands and tracts) of the Lohit river starts from Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border near Sadiya and extends eastwards fomring part of 'Assam Plains' Endemic Bird Area. This IBA also includes the entire riverbed of the Lohit, at places more than 10 km wide with sandy and grassy tracts. The area is the floodplains of the Lohit river and the entire area is criss-crossed by numerous channels turning it into a complex of water bodies, riverine islands, grassland and forest. The area has rich assemblage of grassland birds (A. U. Choudhury pers. comm. 2003).

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: More than 140 species of birds have been listed during general wildlife surveys and hence the total diversity could be more than 300 species including a large number wintering waterfowl (A. U. Choudhury pers. comm. 2003). The only Endangered species confirmed was the Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis (Choudhury 1996), The White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata was reported and is very likely also but need a confumed sighting. Among Vulnerable species, two species were recorded from the area, the Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus and the Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis (Choudhury 2004). The Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis was recorded from just west of this IBA in Assam. There is extensive habitat for potential population of Jerdon's Babbler Chrysomma altirostre and Black-breasted Parrotbill Paradoxomis flavirostris.

In winter, there are large congregations of Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo (often in hundreds), Goosanders Mergus merganser in smaller groups all over, Ibisbill Ibidorhyncha struthersii, and many species of ducks.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Among major mammals there are Tiger Panthera tigris, Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, the rare Asiatic Wild Buffalo Bubalus amee (=bubalis) (Choudhury 1999) and Hog deer Axis porcinus. The Gangetic Dolphin Platanista gangetica is occasionally seen towards extreme west. The Gharial Gavialis gangeticus has not been reported in recent years.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
White-winged Duck Asarcornis scutulata resident  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Goosander Mergus merganser unknown  2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo unknown  2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis resident  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 


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

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Anwaruddin Choudhury.


Choudhury, A. u. (1996) Survey of the White-winged Wood Duck and Bengal Florican in Tinsukia district and adjacent areas of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The Rhino Foundation for Nature in NE India. Guwahati. 82 pp.

Choudhury, A. U. (1999) Status of the wild water buffalo Bubalus arnee in Lohit district, Arunachal Pradesh. J. Bombay nat. Hist. Soc. 96(1): 130-132.

Choudhury, A. U. (2004) A pocket guide to the Birds of Arunachal Pradesh. Gibbon Books and The Rhino Foundation for Nature in NE India. Guwahati.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: The Chapories of Lohit Reserve. Downloaded from on 22/10/2016

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