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Location India, Assam
Central coordinates 95o 21.00' East  27o 41.40' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 80,000 ha
Altitude 90 - 100m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description This complex covers Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, Poba Reserve Forest, Kobo chapori (river islands) proposed reserve forest, Amarpur chapori, Maguri and Motapung beel (lake), and the adjacent riverine tract of the Brahmaputra and Lohit rivers. The Dibru-Saikhowa NP proper covers 34,000 ha in the districts of Tinsukia and Dibrugarh in eastern Assam. It is 13 km north of Tinsukia town. It is also a Biosphere Reserve. The area is known as a major haunt of the globally threatened White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata, Black-breasted Parrotbill Paradoxornis flavirostris and Marsh Babbler Pellorneum palustre. In 1986, the Government of Assam declared Dibru and Saikhowa Reserve Forests as Dibru-Saikhowa Wildlife Sanctuary, covering 64,000 ha which also included Amarpur chapori and the adjacent riverine tract of the Brahmaputra and Lohit rivers. Subsequently, the area was upgraded to a national park. However, at the time of final notification as a sanctuary and as well as a national park, only the reserve forest areas were included. Maguri and Motapung beels in Tinsukia district, although very important for the conservation of waterfowl, are outside. Similarly, Poba and Kobo, important biodiversity sites, are located north of the Park and are in Dhemaji disrict. We have included all these adjacent sites in one IBA. Dibru-Saikhowa has the largest salix swamp forest in northeastern India. Tropical Moist Deciduous, Tropical Semi-evergreen, Evergreen Forests and grassland forms the main habitat type. The original vegetation of the Park was tropical rainforest, but a large part sank by a few meters during the earthquake in 1950, causing significant geomorphological changes. Due to regular flooding, the rainforest gradually gave way to deciduous forest and swamps (Choudhury 1998). The relatively remote Amarpur area, on the northern side of the Brahmaputra river, not included in the Park but is a part of the wider Dibru-Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve, has significant areas of tall grass, which are largely absent in the other areas of the Park. The Amarpur peninsula within the Biosphere Reserve covers about 3,000 ha. It is generally low-lying and much of it is flooded during the monsoon season (Allen 2002).

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 
Manipur Bush-quail Perdicula manipurensis resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Endangered 
White-winged Duck Asarcornis scutulata resident  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Baer's Pochard Aythya baeri winter  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius breeding  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
White-bellied Heron Ardea insignis resident  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis resident  2004  present  A1  Near Threatened 
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 
Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis resident  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Sarus Crane Antigone antigone resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer winter  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis breeding  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Pale-capped Pigeon Columba punicea resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Yellow-vented Warbler Phylloscopus cantator 2004  present  A2  Least Concern 
Marsh Babbler Pellorneum palustre resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Jerdon's Babbler Chrysomma altirostre resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Black-breasted Parrotbill Paradoxornis flavirostris resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Yellow Weaver Ploceus megarhynchus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Dibru-Saikhowa National Park 34,000 protected area contained by site 34,000  


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

Land use

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

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Anwaruddin Choudhury.


Ali, S. and Ripley, S. D. (1987) Compact Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan (Second Edition). Oxford University Press, Delhi.

Allen, D. (2002) A bird survey of the Amarpur area of the Dibru-Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve, Assam, India. Forktail 18: 87-91.

Baker, E. C. S. (1904) The occurrence of the Masked Finfoot (Heliopais personata) in Lakhimpur. J. Bombay. Nat. Hist. Soc. 16: 156.

Choudhury, A. U. (1994) Report on Bird survey in Dibru-Saikhowa Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam. Final report to OBC, UK.

Choudhury, A. U. (1996) Survey of the White-winged wood duck and the Bengal Florican in Tinsukia district and adjacent areas of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. The Rhino Foundation for Nature in Northeast India. Guwahati.

Choudhury, A. U. (1997) The Status of the Birds of Dibru-Saikhowa Sanctuary, Assam, India. OBC Bulletin 25: 27-29.

Choudhury, A. U. (1998) Mammals, birds and reptiles of Dibru-Saikhowa wildlife sanctuary, Assam, India. Oryx 32(3) 192-200.

Choudhury, A. U. (2002) Globally threatened birds in Dibru-Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve. Himalayan Biosphere Reserves. Vol. 4(1&2): 49-54.

Green, A. J. (1992) The status and conservation of the White-Winged Wood Duck Cairina scutulata. IWRB Special Publication 17, Slimbridge, U.K.

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 Conservation Series No. 7. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Dibru - Saikhowa Complex. Downloaded from on 17/09/2014

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