email a friend
printable version
Location India, Assam
Central coordinates 95o 22.50' East  27o 28.50' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 774 ha
Altitude 119 - 122m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Bherjan (105 ha), Borajan (493 ha) and Podumoni (176 ha) are tiny pockets of lowland tropical forest present in Tinsukia district, Assam. These forest areas have the distinction of having the highest biomass of primates anywhere in the Indian subcontinent (Choudhury 1995a, 1995b). The three areas are disjunct and separated by tea gardens and human habitations. These are entirely on the flat plains of the Brahmputra Valley, so they lie in the Endemic Bird Area called Assam Plains by BirdLife International (undated). Older alluvium of the River Brahmaputra covers all three areas. The compact and brownish soil is suitable for tea plantation, hence, all the forests have tea gardens on the fringe areas. There are small, scattered marshes, with swamps, covered with dense growth of grass and Alpinia herb. The natural vegetation of all these areas is Tropical Wet Evergreen ‘rainforest’ type. Bherjan is almost entirely covered with trees with closed canopy. The original vegetation has been replaced by a fairly old mixed plantation dominated by the deciduous species Lagerstroemia parviflora and Terminalia myriocarpa. The Podumoni part is mostly in a degraded state due to large-scale felling. The canopy has been very badly broken up. Only a few mature trees of Artocarpus, Bombax, Lagerstroemia and Mesua species can be seen. Bojaran is a pocket of excellent rainforest, dominated by Dipterocarpus macrocarpus. Except for Teak, all the species as in the other two forest pocket are found. Bamboo species are found in all areas. Stenochleana palustre, an edible fern, grows abundantly all over, especially in the openings and clearings.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Eighty-four species of birds have been identified (Choudhury 1995a) including some threatened and Near Threatened species. This site has been identified as an IBA based on the presence of three threatened species, notably the Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus and two species of Gyps vultures. At least three pairs of Lesser Adjutant nest in Borajan RF. Locally it is called Godul (Choudhury 1995a). Many lowland birds of the Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests of Assam, of which only fragments are left, are found here. The Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris and the Near Threatened Great Pied Hornbill Buceros bicornis are occasional visitors to Bherjan and Podumoni. The site lies in Biome-9 (Indo-Chinese Tropical Moist Forest) as classified by BirdLife International (undated).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Other fauna of the Sanctuary include the Short-tailed Mole Euroscaptor micrura, Slow Loris Nycticebus coucang, Pig-tailed Macaque Macaca nemestrina, Rhesus Macaque M. mulatta, Assamese Macaque M. assamensis, Capped Langur Trachypithecus pileatus, Hoolock Gibbon Hylobates hoolock, Stump-tailed Macaque M. arctoides (locally extinct), Chinese Pangolin Manis pentadactyla, Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis, Leopard Panthera pardus, Tiger P. tigris (stray), Asian Elephant Elephas maximus (stray), Common Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista petaurista, Pallas’s Squirrel Callosciurus erythraeus, Malayan Giant Squirrel Ratufa bicolor, Chinese Porcupine Hystrix hodgsoni, Wild Boar Sus scrofa and Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 

IBA Monitoring

2003 very high not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high
Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - herbicides and pesticides happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors utility & service lines happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Bherjan-Borajan-Podumoni Sanctuary 722 protected area contained by site 722  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature Conservation

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Anwaruddin Choudhury.


BirdLife International (undated) Important Bird Areas (IBAs) of Asia: Project Briefing Book. Pp. 103 Unpublished.

Choudhury, A. U. (1995a) Wildlife Survey in Bherjan, Borajan and Podumoni Reserved Forests of Tinsukia District, Assam, with a proposal for a Wildlife Sanctuary. The Rhino Foundation for Nature in NE India, Guwahati, India.

Choudhury, A. U. (1995b) Primates in Bherjan, Borajan and Podumoni Reserved Forests of Assam, India. Asian Primates 5 (3&4): 10-11.

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Bherjan-Borajan-Podumoni Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife