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Location India, Himachal Pradesh
Central coordinates 77o 21.50' East  31o 58.95' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 5,400 ha
Altitude 1,800 - 4,833m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description This small Sanctuary is contiguous with the Great Himalayan National Park, another IBA of Himachal Pradesh. The terrain is steep, with deep valleys and rocky cliffs. The Sanctuary has an altitudinal variation from 1,800 m to nearly 5,000 m. There are two main mountain peaks, Satupurna (3,519 m) and Shacha (3,542 m). The Parvati river flows north of the Sanctuary. There are lakes and natural springs of religious and historical importance at Khirganga and Mantalai on the outskirts of the Sanctuary. There is also a temple and a gurudwara at Manikaran, adjacent to the Sanctuary (Singh et al. 1990). Owing to its great altitudinal variation, seven forest types are present in this Sanctuary. Based on the classification of Champion and Seth (1968), they are Alpine Pastures, West Himalayan Sub-Alpine Forest, Kharsu Oak Forest, Moist Temperate Deciduous Forest, Western Mixed Coniferous Forest, Moist Deodar Forest and Ban Oak Forest. The Moist Temperate Deciduous Forest is one of the few undisturbed fragments of this type extant in Himachal Pradesh.

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 
White-cheeked Tit Aegithalos leucogenys 2004  present  A2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Kanawar Sanctuary 5,400 is identical to site 5,400  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism and recreation
urban/industrial/transport -
Notes: Human habitation; Urban transport
water management -
Notes: Water management

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Sanjeeva Pandey.


BirdLife International (undated) Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Asia: Project briefing book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K., unpublished.

Champion, H. G. and Seth, S. K. (1968) A revised survey of forest types of India, Govt. of India Press, Delhi. Pp. 403.

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 (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kanawar Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 20/09/2014

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