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Location India, Himachal Pradesh
Central coordinates 76o 44.80' East  31o 22.65' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 22,334 ha
Altitude 350 - 1,019m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Gobind Sagar (10,034 ha) is situated in Bilaspur and Mandi districts, and Naina Devi (12,300 ha) in Bilaspur district of Himachal Pradesh. As the sanctuaries are located in the Lower Shiwaliks, floral and faunal affinities are close to Dry Deciduous Forests of the northern plains (Singh et al. 1990). Gobind Sagar, as the name indicates, is a water reservoir formed by the construction of the Bhakra Dam in the early 1950s on the Sutlej River. The reservoir attracts thousands of waterfowl, while the adjoining forests of Naina Devi Sanctuary represent many Biome-8 species. These two sanctuaries are treated as one IBA due to their proximity. Forest types on the periphery of Gobind Sagar include Northern Dry Mixed Deciduous. In Naina Devi there are northern Dry Mixed Deciduous Forests (3,000 ha) and Chir Pine (1,550 ha). There are also some dry bamboo brakes. Commercial plantations of Chir and Acacia were established in Naina Devi over 1,427 ha between 1979 and 1984. Eucalyptus has also been introduced (Singh et al. 1990).

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: The avifauna is poorly recorded but Singh et al. (1990) provided a preliminary list of 15 bird species. As the forest is still intact in places, and the large wetland attracts numerous waterfowl, further surveys would yield at least ten times more species than the present record. Presently, we know of only two globally threatened species occurring here. More research is required to find out the total number of waterfowl and species-wise abundance and populations. Till such time, this site is considered as Data Deficient as far as bird information is concerned.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Almost all the representative large mammalian species of subtropical forests of the Lower Himalayas are found here, except for Tiger Panthera tigris, which became locally extinct due to hunting.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Gobindsagar Sanctuary 10,034 protected area contained by site 10,034  
Naina Devi Sanctuary 12,300 protected area contained by site 12,300  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
fisheries/aquaculture -
Notes: Aquaculture/fisheries
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Sanjeeva Pandey.


Singh, S., Kothari, A. and Pande, P. (Eds) (1990) Directory of national parks and sanctuaries in Himachal Pradesh: management status and profiles. Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi. Pp 164.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Gobind Sagar and Naina Devi Wildlife Sanctuaries. Downloaded from on 03/05/2015

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