|Central coordinates||90o 20.00' East 26o 47.57' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A2|
|Altitude||100 - 300m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2004|
Site description Ripu and Chirang are two reserve forests with contiguous habitat, in extreme western Assam bordering West Bengal and Bhutan. They are also part of the buffer zone of Manas Tiger Reserve. The forests of Ripu and Chirang are contiguous with those of Buxa Tiger Reserve of West Bengal and Phipsoo Wildlife Sanctuary of Bhutan. These forests have the largest known population of the endangered Golden Langur Trachypithecus geei in India (Choudhury 2002). Since 1989, a third of these forests have been clear felled and encroached upon due to insurgency related problems. Located in the northern part of Kokrajhar district and nestling in the foothills of the Bhutan Himalaya, Ripu and Chirang have some of the finest examples of bhabar forest with Sal Shorea robusta as the dominant species. Further north, the forest is Semievergreen type. These reserve forests are easily accessible from Kokrajhar district headquarters, about 25 km away. The terrain is largely flat or gently sloping from north to south, with some foothills towards the north. The main rivers that flow through this IBA are Sankosh, Saralbhanga, and Champamoti. There is a large wetland called Maachbhandar inside Chirang RF. Besides dense Tropical Semi-evergreen and Tropical Moist Deciduous forests, riverine forests with light woodland and grasslands are also found. Ripu and Chirang are vital habitats that serve as a corridor linking Manas National Park, Assam with Buxa in West Bengal, and also the forests of Bhutan, especially important for Asian Elephants Elaphas maximus. These forests are already part of the Chirang- Ripu Elephant Reserve of Assam.
|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|
|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|
|Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis||resident||2004||present||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis||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|
|Black-breasted Parrotbill Paradoxornis flavirostris||resident||2004||present||-||A1, A2||Vulnerable|
|White-throated Bushchat Saxicola insignis||winter||2004||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|Notes: Agriculture (in encroachments and forest villages)|
Acknowledgements Key contributors: Bablu Dey, Subhash Chanda, Arindam Brahma and Anwaruddin Choudhury.
Choudhury, A. U. (2002) Golden langur Trachypithecus geei threatened by habitat fragmentation. Zoo’s Print Journal 17 (2): 699-703.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ripu and Chirang Reserve Forests. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 12/07/2014
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