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Location India, Assam
Central coordinates 94o 38.00' East  26o 59.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i
Area 150 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description This IBA site includes three large historic tanks Joysagar (60 ha), Sivasagar (50 ha) and Gourisagar (40 ha) and their high banks in and around Sibsagar town in eastern Assam. Since time immemorial, birds have been protected in these sacred temple tanks. Every winter hundreds, often thousands, of ducks and geese spend the whole day resting and feeding on these tanks, which are easily accessible by metalled roads. The surrounding terrain is flat plain country. Sibsagar and Joysagar tanks are known for their spectacular flocks of ducks and geese. The largest wintering flocks of Bar-headed Anser indicus and Greylag Anser anser geese ever recorded in Assam, were in Joysagar tank. About 5,800 and 3,000 respectively were counted in 1995 (Bibhab Talukdar in Choudhury 2000). Most of the tanks are open water but on the margins there is emergent and floating vegetation. Fortunately, these tanks are free from Water Hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Baer's Pochard Aythya baeri winter  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Greylag Goose Anser anser 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
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 
Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   -
Shrubland   -
Artificial - aquatic   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
urban/industrial/transport -
Notes: Human habitation
water management -
Notes: Wetland

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


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. (2000) The Birds of Assam. Gibbon Books & WWFIndia NE Region, Guwahati. Pp. 240.

Wetlands International (2002) Waterbird Population Estimates – Third Edition. Wetlands International Global Series No. 12. Wageningen, The Netherlands.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sibsagar Tanks. Downloaded from on 23/10/2014

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