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Location India
Central coordinates 92o 27.00' East  24o 40.00' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 1,500 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Son beel is a large lake in Karimganj district of southern Assam. It is flanked by hills on its west and east. In winter, the extent is only a few fragmented beels, totalling less than 500 ha. It is still the largest beel in Assam but it is being reduced (Choudhury 2000) and unfortunately, there is no conservation effort to save it. The Shingla River, originating in Mizoram, is its major inlet as well as outlet. Further downstream, there is another large lake known as Rata beel, beyond which the Shingla river bifurcates into two rivers Kochua and Kakra. Son beel is accessible from Hailakandi and Karimganj towns. Barringtonia acutangula is the main tree that grows in the beel besides reeds such as Arundo donax and various aquatic plants.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis 2004  present [units unknown]  A1  Vulnerable 
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus 2004  present [units unknown]  A1  Vulnerable 
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis 2004  present [units unknown]  A1  Near Threatened 
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis 2004  present [units unknown]  A1  Critically Endangered 
Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga 2004  present [units unknown]  A1  Vulnerable 
Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris 2004  present [units unknown]  A1  Critically Endangered 


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
fisheries/aquaculture -
Notes: Fishing
water management -
Notes: Wetland

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Anwaruddin Choudhury.


Choudhury, A. U. (2000) Birds of Assam, Gibbon Books and WWF-India NE Region, Guwahati.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Son Beel. Downloaded from on 17/04/2014

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