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Location India, Assam
Central coordinates 94o 35.00' East  27o 4.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A4iii
Area 4,000 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description This site includes Pani-Dihing Bird Sanctuary (3,393 ha) and its environs (600 ha), including Phokolai and Dorou beels. Situated 17 km north of Sibsagar town, the district headquarters, this large wetland complex lies on the south bank of River Brahmaputra, near its confluence with the tributary Disang. The terrain is flat, being on the floodplains. During monsoon, most of the area is inundated. The main beels (wetlands) of the area are Phokolai, Dorou (both outside the Sanctuary), Sagunpora, Ghoka, Tokia and Jarjaria. The main channels that feed the area are Dimou, Boloma, Balijan and Singorajan. Pani-Dihing and adjacent areas are known for migratory waterfowl, while there are also important resident species. It used to be a hunters paradise, and people from Sibsagar town used to go for shooting ducks and geese. Now sport hunting has been stopped, but poisoning of waterfowl still goes on. The strip of swampy reed jungle of the northern border comprises chiefly Arundo donax and plants of the genus Alpinia, Vetiveria zizanioides and Saccharum spontaneum are also common, whereas Phragmites karka is becoming rarer, possibly because of collection by the villagers. Thorny vines wind around these tall grasses and during the summer rainfall, it becomes impenetrable with thick clumps of Eichornia crassipes.

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 
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 
Black-breasted Parrotbill Paradoxornis flavirostris resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Panidihing Sanctuary 3,393 is identical to site 3,393  


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

Land use

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

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Diptimanta Barooah, Anwaruddin Choudhury and Kulojyoti Lahkar.


Barooah, D. (1990) Panihiding Reserve Forest- Status and its Avifauna. Newsletter for Birdwatchers 30 (5-6): 7-8.

Barooah, D. (1994) Birds of Panidihing. Newsletter for Birdwatchers 34(4): 83 - 86.

Choudhury, A. U. (1988) Some rare ornithological records from Sibsagar, Assam. Cheetal 29(2): 3- 9.

Choudhury, A. U. (1991) Bird observations from Sibsagar District, Assam, India. Forktail 6: 35-42.

Choudhury, A. U. (1993) Nesting colonies of Greater Adjutant Storks in Nagaon and Sibsagar districts of Assam. Newsletter for Birdwarchers 33: 47-48.

Hume, A. O. (1888) The birds of Manipur, Assam, Sylhet and Cachar. Stray Feathers 11: 1-353.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Pani-Dihing Bird Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 21/10/2014

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