email a friend
printable version
Location India, Himachal Pradesh
Central coordinates 77o 11.70' East  32o 2.10' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 1,419 ha
Altitude 2,800 - 3,680m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society



Site description The Kais Wildlife Sanctuary, lies in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. This small (1,419 ha) high altitude sanctuary includes parts of the catchment of the Kais Nala, an important tributary of the River Beas. It was declared mainly to protect the Musk Deer Moschus chrysogaster and pheasants, in 1954 under the then Punjab Wild Birds and Wild Animals Protection Act, 1933. There is a lack of published information on the vegetation of Kais WLS. It is estimated that 1,174 ha of the Sanctuary is forested. Fir Abies pindrow and Spruce Picea smithiana, with some Oak Quercus semecarpifolia, Maple Acer sp., Poplar Populus sp., Walnut Juglans regia and Cedar Cedrus deodara, predominate at lower altitudes, while the alpine zone bears Birch Betula utilis and Rhododendron scrub forest.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Practically no work has been done on the avifauna of this Sanctuary, although there is some information on the pheasants, for which it is famous. The globally threatened Western Tragopan Tragopan melanocephalus and Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichii are reported to be present (Singh et al. 1990). The more common species include Himalayan Monal Lophophorus impejanus, Kaleej Pheasant Lophura leucomelana and Koklass pheasant Pucrasia macrolopha. The Chukar Partridge Alectoris chukar is also present. This site is designated an IBA based on the presence of two threatened pheasant species. Checklist of the birds of this site is not available so we do not know how many restricted range and biome species are found here. This site is considered as Data Deficient.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Musk Deer is the most famous mammal of this Sanctuary, but its population has declined drastically due to poaching for its musk pod. Brown Bear Ursus arctos is seen in the subalpine and alpine areas, while Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus is found at lower altitudes. Himalayan Tahr Hemitragus jemlahicus, Barking Deer or Indian Muntjak Muntiacus muntjak and Goral Nemorhaedus goral are the major wild ungulates that have to share the limited resources of the area with a large number of domestic animals.

Leopard Panthera pardus is sometimes found very close to villages and settlements in search of easy prey. Not much is known about the lesser carnivores of the Sanctuary.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Western Tragopan Tragopan melanocephalus resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichii resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kais Sanctuary 1,419 is identical to site 1,419  

Habitats

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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism and recreation
water management -
Notes: Water management

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Sanjeeva Pandey.

References 

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.

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kais Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/12/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife