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Location India, Assam
Central coordinates 93o 27.28' East  25o 39.52' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 77,000 ha
Altitude 150 - 598m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Dhansiri is the second largest reserve forest in Assam. Located in Karbi Anglong district, bordering Nagaland’s Intanki National Park, it is rich in both birds and mammals. Dhansiri and the adjacent forests of Daldali Reserve forest, Barlangpher District Council RF (DCRF) and Tamulbari DCRF were proposed for a tiger reserve (Choudhury 1992, 1993a, 1998). It is already a part of Dhansiri-Lungding Elephant Reserve that was notified in 2003. The area consists of undulating plains to low hills, which are part of Karbi plateau. Because of continuous erosion by rivers Dhansiri, Jamuna, Lungding, Borlangpher, Diphu Nala and others, the area has become much lower in elevation than the northern plateau and southern hills. Geographically, the area is known as the Dhansiri Gap. The lowest parts are about 150 m above msl. The highest point is 598 m (Thangnangsip) in Khelma area. The elevation of the larger part of the proposed reserve is 200-250 m. The Dhansiri river marks the southern and southeastern boundary of the proposed reserve. Other important rivers include the Lungding, Barlangpher, Chhotalangpher, and Diphu Nala. Most of the smaller nullahs become dry during winter. The climate of the area may be called the ‘tropical monsoon type.’ The summers are hot and wet, while the winters are cool and dry. The area is in the low rainfall zone (actually a rain-shadow zone) of northeastern India. The forest type is Tropical Moist Deciduous and Tropical Semievergreen (Choudhury 1993a). The top canopy consists of Tetrameles nudiflora, Amoora wallichii, Artocarpus chaplasha, Michelia champaca, Mesua ferrea, Phoebe goalparensis, Gmelina arborea, Duabanga sonneratioides, Dillenia scabrella, Canarium resiniferum and Mansonia dipikae (endemic to the area). The middle layer consists of Eugenis jambolana, Premna benghalensis, Dillenia indica, D. scabrella, Albizzia procera and Emblica officinalis. The understorey has Zizyphus spp., Clerodendron spp., Calamus spp., with Lantana camara in the open patches. Abandoned jhums (slash-and-burn shifting cultivation of the hill tribes) are covered with various grasses such as Themeda villosa, Saccharum procerum, Imperata cylindrica, and shrubs (Eupatorium odoratum). In the depressions Alpinia allughas, herbs, and Arundo donax and Neyraudia reynaudiana grasses (both locally called Nal) occur. Plantations of the Forest Department are mainly Tectona grandis (Teak), Gmelina arborea and Albizzia procera.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Green Peafowl Pavo muticus resident  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
White-winged Duck Asarcornis scutulata resident  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Dhansiri-Lungding Elephant Reserve Other 0 protected area overlaps with site 0  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Cultivation including jhum (in encroachments)
forestry -
Notes: Forestry

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Anwaruddin Choudhury and Kulojyoti Lahkar.


Choudhury, A. U. (1996a) The marbled cat Felis marmorata Martin in Assam - some recent records. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 93(3): 583-584.

Choudhury, A. U. (1998) Dhansiri Tiger Reserve. Revised proposal. The Rhino Foundation for Nature in NE India, Guwahati. Pp 30 + map.

Choudhury, A. U. (1992) Dhansiri Tiger Reserve. Unpublished Report. Pp. 8 + map.

Choudhury, A. U. (1993a) A naturalist in Karbi Anglong. Gibbon Books, Guwahati.

Choudhury, A. U. (1993b) Keeled box turtle in Karbi Anglong- a new locality record. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 90: 517.

Choudhury, A. U. (1996b) Survey of primates in some parts of eastern and central Assam. Final Report to ASTEC, Guwahati. Pp. 32 + maps.

Godwin-Austen H. H. (1874) Fourth list of birds principally from the Naga Hills and Munipur, including others from Khasi, Garo and Tipperah Hills. J. Asiatic Soc. Bengal 43(2): 151-180.

Hutchinson, R. E. (1946) The White-Winged Wood Duck. Asacornis scutulata (Muller). J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 46: 402-403.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Dhansiri Reserve Forest. Downloaded from on 22/10/2014

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