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Location India, Assam
Central coordinates 94o 20.00' East  27o 20.00' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 1,125 ha
Altitude 90 - 95m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Bordoibam-Bilmukh is a large freshwater lake that was created during the great earthquake of 1950. It was part of the River Subansiri, which now flows 7 km away from the lake. The Sanctuary is 50 km from Lakhimpur, the district headquarters, and 455 km from Guwahati. A large number of migratory waterfowl are seen in winter while some globally threatened species such as the Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis and Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus are seen all over the year. The wetland is fringed by tall emergent vegetation, mainly Arundo donax, where the Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis was not uncommon some years ago. However, the grassland has been destroyed by villagers, so this bird is now rarely seen. The typical aquatic, floating and emergent vegetation of wetlands is seen in this wetland also. In the drying and dried up part, Arundo donax dominates along with sedges. A few Barringtonia acutangula trees are found on the fringes.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: More than 165 bird species have been recorded (Phukan et al. 1997). Besides the Lesser Adjutant, there are some records of Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius. Pallas’s Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus is another globally threatened species seen here. It is of great conservation concern, as this large raptor requires undisturbed wetlands. The Bordiobam wetland is known as a breeding ground of the Large Whistling Duck Dendrocygna bicolor, Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio, Bronze-winged Jacana Metopidius indicus, White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus and Watercock Gallicrex cinerea (Talukdar 1993). Although this IBA does not support more than 20,000 birds (A4iii criteria), it has great potential as a major waterfowl sanctuary of Assam. It has been selected on the basis of the endangered species found here.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Other important fauna of the site include the Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrina, and Hog deer Axis porcinus. The latter has become very rare due to the destruction of its grassland habitat. Some Smooth Indian Otters Lutrogale perspicillata still survive.

Not much work has been done on amphibians and reptiles, although Hoplobatrachus tigerinus, Bufo melanostictus, and Rhacophorus spp. have also been recorded.

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 
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius breeding  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis resident  2004  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni passage  2004  present  A1  Least Concern 
Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 

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%) slow but significant deterioration low
Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Biological resource use fishing & harvesting aquatic resources - unintentional effects: large scale happening now whole area/population (>90%) moderate to rapid deterioration very high
Biological resource use gathering terrestrial plants - unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - unspecified species happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - soil erosion, sedimentation 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)  
Bordoibam-Bilmukh Sanctuary 1,125 is identical to site 1,125  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
fisheries/aquaculture -
Notes: Fishing
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature Conservation

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Anwaruddin Choudhury, Bikul Goswami, Megamix Nature Club.


Choudhury, A. U. (1990) Proposal for declaring Bordoibam-Bilmukh as a bird sanctuary. Unpublished report to Forest Department, Assam.

Phukan, D., Dutta, N. N., Gogoi, N. N., and Das, A. (1997) Bordoibam- Bilmukh Bird Sanctuary. Megamix Nature Club, Dhakuakhana, Pp. 24.

Talukdar, B. K. (1993) Need to preserve Bordoibam wetland. Newsletter for Birdwatchers 33(5):90.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Bordoibam-Bilmukh Bird Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

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