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Location India, Assam
Central coordinates 94o 17.50' East  27o 33.50' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 18,000 ha
Altitude 100 - 1,000m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description This site includes two reserve forests, Subansiri in Dhemaji district and Dulung in Lakhimpur district in northeastern Assam. The river Subansiri passes through the middle of the IBA, while its tributaries Pavo, Geruka, Dirpai and Dulung drain other parts of the site. It is here that the Subansiri River debouches into the plains, forming a broad braided stretch of aquatic and terrestrial habitats. The terrain of the site is hilly, as it covers foothills of the Eastern Himalayas. Small flat areas occur along the southern portion. The higher parts of Subansiri Reserve Forest are more than 300 m above msl. The site is known for wildlife, especially Asian Elephant Elephas maximus and birds. There was an excellent patch of terai grassland in Dirpai area of Subansiri RF, where the Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis and the Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis used to occur. While the call of the francolins is still heard, the florican has become sporadic. This is mainly due to encroachment and settlements in its grassland habitat. There is also a record of the Chestnut-breasted or Red-breasted Hill Partridge Arborophila mandellii from the higher areas of Subansiri RF (Choudhury 2000). The entire area is clothed with thick, lush Tropical Evergreen and Semi-evergreen forests, with absolute habitat contiguity with Taley Valley Wildlife Sanctuary (IBA) of Arunachal Pradesh, across the river Subansiri.

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 
Chestnut-breasted Partridge Arborophila mandellii resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
White-winged Duck Asarcornis scutulata resident  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
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 


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
forestry -
Notes: Forest

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Anwaruddin Choudhury, Neeraj Vagholikar, Manju Menon and Bikul Goswami.


Choudhury, A. U. (1996) The marbled cat Felis marmorata Martin in Assam- some recent records. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 93(3): 583- 584.

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

Choudhury, A. U. (2002) Comments on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of Kameng and Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Projects, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. Pp. 8. + maps.

Saghal, B. and Sharma, S. C. (2002) Lower Subansiri Site Visit. Report submitted to Government of India, New Delhi. Pp. 22.

Vagholikar, N. and Ahmed, M. F. (2003) Tracking a hydel project - the story of Lower Subansiri. The Ecologist Asia 11(1): 25-32.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Subansiri. Downloaded from on 26/10/2014

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