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Location India, Assam
Central coordinates 92o 46.27' East  26o 32.90' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 11,417 ha
Altitude 60 - 70m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society



Site description Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary (7,011 ha) is located in Nagaon district in central Assam. It was declared as a game reserve way back in 1907 because of its population of Indian One-horned Rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis. Burhachapori Wildlife Sanctuary (4,406 ha) is contiguous with Laokhowa, and is located on the south bank of the Brahmaputra west of the Kolia Bhomara Bridge near Tezpur. This Sanctuary, however, is in Sonitpur district. During summer, Burhachapori virtually becomes an island. Both Laokhowa and Burhachapori are on the floodplains of the Brahmaputra river. In Burhachapori, about 20% is forest, 65% grasslands and the rest waterbodies and scrub forest. Laokhowa is similar to Kaziranga in terrain and situated further downstream on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra. Roughly 35% of Laokhowa is grassland, 30% waterbodies and the remaining area under natural forest or plantations of Bombax ceiba, Dalbergia sissoo and Albizzia procera. Marasuti, a tributary of the Brahmaputra flows along the northwestern part of the Sanctuary (Bhagabati and Lahkar 1998, Choudhury 1998). The natural vegetation is mainly forest interspersed with tall trees, grasslands and wetland vegetation. The forests are primarily of Tropical Moist Deciduous, with patches of Semi-evergreen types. The understorey is found to vary from one forest patch to another, depending upon the character of the dominant trees. In some patches, it is dominated by Pteridophytes, and in others by species of Eupatorium, Mikania and Ageratum. Climbers and herbs like Hydrocotyle and Colocasia are present. Some epiphytic ferns, namely Asplenium and Pyrrosia can be seen. The dominant trees include Albizzia procera, Acacia catechu, Barringtonia acutangula, Dalbergia sisoo and Bombax ceiba. Grasses grow in the relatively dry areas (Bhagabati and Lahkar 1998).

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 
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-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis resident  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer winter  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Marsh Babbler Pellorneum palustre resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Burachapori Sanctuary 4,406 protected area contained by site 4,406  
Laokhowa Sanctuary 7,011 protected area contained by site 7,011  

Habitats

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

Land use

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

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Kulojyoti Lahkar, Anwaruddin Choudhury, Asad R. Rahmani, Goutam Narayan, Abani Kr. Bhagavati and Shimanta Kumar Goswami.

References 

Bhagabati, A. K. and Lahkar, K. (1998) Report: Some aspects of biodiversity and its conservation in the river islands of Brahmaputra, Assam. WWF-India NE Region, Guwahati and Assam Science Society, Guwahati.

Choudhury, A. U. (1998) Survey of grasslands in some parts of Central & Southern Assam: to assess their biodiversity and socio-economic problems. Report to the WWF-India NE Regional office, Guwahati. 99 pp + maps.

Choudhury, A. (2002) Current status and conservation of the Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis in northeast India. In: Birds of Wetlands and Grasslands: Proceedings of the Salim Ali Centenary Seminar on Conservation of Avifauna of Wetlands and Grasslands. Pp. 90-94. Eds. Rahmani, A. R. and G. Ugra. Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai.

Goswami, S. K., Medhi, C. and Goswami, B. B. (1999) Rediscovery of Bengal Florican (Eupodotis bengalensis) in Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary. Newsletter for Birdwatchers. 39 (4): 64-65 Lahkar, K. (2003) Birds of Laokhowa and Burhachapori wildlife sanctuaries. Report to be submitted to the Oriental Bird Club, UK.

Rahmani, A. R, Narayan, G., Rosalind, L. and Sankaran, R. (1990) Status of the Bengal Florican in India. In: Status and Ecology of the Lesser and Bengal floricans. Final Report. Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay. Pp. 155.

Talukdar, B. K. (1995) New record of Bengal Florican in Burhachapori reserved forest, Assam. Newsletter for Birdwatchers 35(3): 53

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Laokhowa and Burhachapori Sanctuaries. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/07/2014

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