|Central coordinates||92o 34.53' East 26o 55.18' North|
|Altitude||100 - 300m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2004|
Site description Sonai-Rupai was declared as a Game Reserve in 1934, because of its rich biodiversity that included the Indian One-horned Rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis, and reported populations of Wild Buffalo Bubalus arnee (= bubalis). Both these species are, however, locally extinct from this sanctuary. Located about 40 km northwest of Tezpur town, in the district of Sonitpur, in northern Assam, Sonai-Rupai has a number of threatened birds that got little attention earlier. These are the White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata, Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis, Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis and the occasional Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis (Choudhury 2000, 2002). This sanctuary is on the interstate border with Arunachal Pradesh. Sonai-Rupai was earlier part of Charduar Reserve Forest. The rivers Gabharu, Gelgeli, Sonai and Rupai flow through the Sanctuary. An added advantage is the presence of Doimara RF and beyond this the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary across the border in Arunachal Pradesh, covering about 50,000 ha. For many species of fauna, it is one large wilderness area. The terrain in Sonai-Rupai is flat and gently sloping towards the south, typical of bhabar and terai areas. Towards north, promontories of the small hills of Arunachal Himalaya can be seen. Most of Sonai-Rupai is tree forest, but there are large patches of grassland.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Endangered|
|Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis||-||2004||present [units unknown]||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Sonai-Rupai||Sanctuary||22,000||is identical to site||22,000|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Riverine wetland|
Acknowledgements Key contributors: Anwaruddin Choudhury, Goutam Narayan and Asad R. Rahmani.
Choudhury, A. U. (2000) The Birds of Assam. Gibbon Books & WWF India NE Region, Guwahati. Pp. 240.
Choudhury, A. U. (2002) Conservation of the White-winged Wood Duck Cairina scutulata in India, pp. 52-64. In: Birds of Wetlands and grasslands: Proceedings of the Salim Ali Centenary Seminar on Conservation of avifauna of wetlands and grasslands. Eds: Rahmani, A.R. and Ugra, G. Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai. Pp. x+228.
Rahmani, A. R., Narayan, G., Rosalind, L. and Sankaran, R. (1990) Status of the Bengal Florican in India. pp. 55-78. In: Status and Ecology of the Lesser and Bengal Floricans, with reports on Jerdon’s Courser and Mountain Quail. Final Report. Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay.
Stattersfield, A. J., Crosby, M. J., Long, A. J. and Wege, D. C. (1998) Endemic Bird Areas of the World: Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation. BirdLife Conservation Series No. 7. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.
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Recommended citation BirdLife International (2013) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sonai-Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 11/12/2013
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