|Central coordinates||94o 0.85' East 26o 53.65' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2, A4iii|
|Year of IBA assessment||2004|
Site description Majuli Island in the Brahmaputra River is located about 15 km from the district headquarters at Jorhat in eastern Assam. It is perhaps the second largest river island in the world, and comprises a large riverine island with innumerable small islets, locally called chapories. Originally, the island was a part of the Jorhat plain, south of the Brahmaputra River but southward diversion of the main channel of the river (c. 300 years ago) has resulted in the formation of this island. The northern channel is now known as the Kherkatia and Luitsutis. The topography of the area is flat floodplain with lakes (beels) and marshes on the one hand and anthropogenic structures such as embankments and roads on the other. Tuni river flows through the middle of the site for some distance. The main island is surrounded by more than twenty chapories (sandbars) (Bhagabati and Lahkar 1998). Majuli, with its fertile floodplains and highly productive wetlands, forms ideal habitats for a variety of birds. It not only supports diverse resident birds, but also attracts a large number of migratory birds, including some uncommon species. The influence of Vaishnavite culture on the island, which restricts killing animals for meat has resulted in great tolerance for wildlife and respect for environment, not seen in other parts of the Brahmaputra Valley. Majuli continues to be a good example of the symbiotic relation between nature and culture, which traditionally provides a congenial environment for the protection of all life forms (Bhagabati and Lahkar 1998). High rainfall, high moisture content in the soil and flat plains favour the growth of evergreen and deciduous trees, grasses, a wide variety of marsh vegetation, bamboos and canes (Bhagabati and Lahkar 1998).
|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|
|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|
|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|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||unknown||2004||20,000 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Nature Conservation|
Acknowledgements Key contributors: Kulojyoti Lahkar, Abani Kumar Bhagabati, Anwaruddin Choudhury and Tilak Ch. Sarmah.
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 and Assam Science Society, Guwahati.
Choudhury, A. U. (2002) Current status and conservation of the Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis in northeast India, pp. 90-94. In : Birds of wetlands and grasslands: Proceedings of the Salim Ali Centenary Seminar on Conservation of avifauna of wetlands and grasslands. Eds: Rahmani, A.R. and Ugra, G. Total. Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai.
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. Pp. 155. Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay.
Stevens, H. (1914-15) Birds of upper Assam. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 23: 234-268, 547-570, 721-736.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Majuli. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/09/2014
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