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Location India, Himachal Pradesh
Central coordinates 76o 1.18' East  32o 33.60' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 6,100 ha
Altitude 1,158 - 2,768m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description The Sanctuary lies in the catchment area of the Beas River, and contains patches of good coniferous and Oak Forests. Khajjiar is a meadow, with a small lake in the centre, which is a popular tourist spot. The Sanctuary is drained by several tributaries of the Ravi River, which lies just north of it. The golden domed temple at the edge of this meadow is also situated inside the Sanctuary. The terrain is steep to very steep, with many rocky cliffs, good for Himalayan Tahr Hemitragus jemlahicus and Ibex Capra sibirica. Most of the Sanctuary is forested, the main forest types being Ban Oak Quercus incana, Cedar Cedrus deodara and Western Mixed Coniferous, interspersed with alpine pasture (Department of Forest Farming and Conservation 1984). Cedar and Blue Pine Pinus wallichiana are predominant in lower altitude coniferous forest, and mixed with some Moru Oak Quercus dilatata and Rhododendron Rhododendron arboreum.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Some 117 species of birds were recorded by Gaston et al. (1981a) in the Ravi Valley, including the Dalhousie-Chamba area. Published information specific to Kalatop-Khajjiar is limited to pheasants. Koklass Pheasant Pucrasia macrolopha and Kaleej Pheasant Lophura leucomelanos are common. One or two Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichii were heard calling at Khajjar in November 1978, and January 1979 (Gaston et al. 1981b). The Himalayan Monal Lophophorus impejanus reportedly visits the site in winter (Gaston et al. 1981a, 1981b). Thakur et al. (2002) have reported 66 bird species but there would be many more. Practically no work has been done on the avifauna, so this site can be considered as Data Deficient.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Almost all mammals of the high altitude areas of Himachal Pradesh are known to occur in Kalatop-Khajjair Sanctuary but their status and population structure is not known. Serow Nemorhaedus sumatraensis is considered fairly common. Goral Nemorhaedus goral is also seen at slightly lower elevations, with Indian Muntjak Muntiacus muntjak and Leopard Panthera pardus.

Populations of IBA trigger species

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

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kalatop-Khajjair Sanctuary 6,100 is identical to site 6,100  


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

Land use

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

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Sanjeeva Pandey, S. Sathyakumar and Murari Thakur.


Department of Forest Farming and Conservation (1984) Scheme for intensive management of Kalatop-Khajjiar Wildlife Sanctuary 1984- 85 to 1988-89. Department of Forest Farming and Conservation, Government of Himachal Pradesh.

Gaston, A. J., Hunter, M. L. Jr. and Garson, P.J. (1981a) The wildlife of Himachal Pradesh, Western Himalayas. University of Maine School of Forest Resources Technical Notes No. 82. Pp. 159 pp.

Gaston, A. J. Garson, P. J. and Hunter, M. L. Jr (1981b) Present distribution and status of pheasants in Himachal Pradesh, Western Himalayas. World Pheasant Association Journal 6: 10-30.

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.

Thakur, M. L., Paliwal, R., Tak, P. C., Mehta, H. S., and Mattu, V. K., (2002) Birds of Kalatop-Khajjar Wildlife Sanctuary, Chamba district, Himachal Pradesh. Cheetal 41(3 & 4): 29-36.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kalatop Khajjiar Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 25/04/2015

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