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Location India, Assam
Central coordinates 90o 55.65' East  26o 43.13' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 50,000 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description The Manas National Park, a world heritage site, is located in western Assam on the international border with Bhutan. The most well known of the wildlife reserves of northeast India and second only to Kaziranga, it was earlier called the North Kamrup Wildlife Sanctuary. The river Manas with its distributaries, the Beki and Hakua, flows through the Park. Other smaller streams include Jongrong, Gyati and Garuchara. Known for its scenic beauty, Manas is also home to a number of globally threatened birds and mammals. The Park has now the only viable population of the Critically Endangered Pigmy Hog Sus salvanius. An added advantage to Manas is the presence of the 102,300 ha Royal Manas National Park across the border in Bhutan. For many species, it is a large contiguous wilderness area. The terrain in Manas is mostly flat, gently sloping plain typical of bhabar and terai. Towards the north, small hilly promontories of the Bhutan Himalaya can be seen. Approximately half of Manas is savanna grassland, while the rest is Moist Deciduous and Semievergreen forest. There are no large beels (waterbody), but small beels and pools occur in the southern areas. The three main types of vegetation are: i) Tropical Semi-evergreen forests in the northern part of sanctuary; ii) Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests (the most common type); and iii) extensive alluvial grasslands in the western part of the National Park, comprising many grass species, and a variety of tree and shrub species (e.g. Dillenia pentagyna, Phyllanthus emblica, Bombax ceiba, and species of Clerodendrum, Leea, Grewia, Premna and Mussaenda). There is also a considerable variety of aquatic flora along riverbanks and in the numerous pools (Jain and Sastry 1983). Drier deciduous forests represent early stages in succession and are replaced by Moist Deciduous forests away from watercourses, which, in turn, are succeeded by Tropical Semi-evergreen climax forest. Grasslands cover about 50% of the Sanctuary. Some 393 species of dicotyledons, including 197 trees, and 98 species of monocotyledons have been identified.

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 
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis resident  2004  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni passage  2004  present  A1  Least Concern 
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 
Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Grey-crowned Prinia Prinia cinereocapilla resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Bristled Grassbird Chaetornis striata resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Marsh Babbler Pellorneum palustre resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Jerdon's Babbler Chrysomma altirostre resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Slender-billed Babbler Turdoides longirostris resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Black-breasted Parrotbill Paradoxornis flavirostris resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
White-throated Bushchat Saxicola insignis winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Yellow Weaver Ploceus megarhynchus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Manas National Park 50,000 is identical to site 50,000  


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

Land use

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

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Anwaruddin Choudhury, Goutam Narayan and Asad R. Rahmani.

Further web sources of information 

Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) species/site profile. This site has been identified as an AZE due to it containing a Critically Endangered or Endangered species with a limited range.


Ali, S., Daniel, J. C. and Rahmani, A. R. (1985) Study of ecology of certain endangered species of wildlife and their habitats. The floricans. Annual Report 1, 1984-1985. Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay. Pp. 79-83.

BirdLife International (2003) Saving Asia’s Threatened Birds: A Guide for Government and Civil Society. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

BirdLife International (undated) Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Asia: Project briefing book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K., Unpublished.

Choudhury, A. U. (1989) S.O.S. Manas : The Sentinel, 7 May, Guwahati.

Jain, S. K. and Sastry, S. R. K. (1983) Botany of some tiger habitats in India. Botanical Survey of India, Department of Environment, Government of India.

Narayan, G. (1992) Ecology, distribution and conservation of the Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis (Gmelin) in India. Ph.D. thesis, University of Bombay.

Narayan, G., Sankaran, R., Rosalind, L and Rahmani, A.R. (1989) The Floricans Houbaropsis bengalensis and Sypheotides indica. Annual Report 1988-89. Bombay Natural History Society. 39pp.

Rahmani, A. R., Narayan, G. and Rosalind, L. (1992) Threat to India’s Manas Tiger Reserve. Tigerpaper 14 (2): 22-28.

Sharma, S. (1988) A new record of the Assam Roof Turtle Kachuga sylhetensis (Jerdoni) form the Manas Wildlife Santuary. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 85: 623.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Manas National Park. Downloaded from on 19/09/2014

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