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Location India, Himachal Pradesh
Central coordinates 77o 7.50' East  32o 16.40' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 3,180 ha
Altitude 2,273 - 5,173m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Manali is a popular tourist resort in Himachal Pradesh, due to its spectacular scenery, but not many people, even officials, know that there is a little-known 3,180 ha Manali Wildlife Sanctuary, notified as long ago as 1954 under the Punjab Birds and Wild Animals Protection Act, 1933. It was mainly established to safeguard the catchment area of Manalsu Nullah, an important tributary of the Beas River. The Manali Sanctuary and adjoining forested areas provide good habitats for many pheasant species, even though the Forest Department had planted many non-native species such as Poplar, Willow and Robinia. The vegetation type, as classified by Champion and Seth (1968) is as follows: Alpine Pastures, Kharsu Oak Forest, Moist Temperate Deciduous Forest, Western Mixed Coniferous Forest, Moist Deodar Forest and Ban Oak Forest. Juniper Juniperus communis is present above the tree-line, along with Rhododendron.

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 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Manali Sanctuary 3,180 is identical to site 3,180  


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

Land use

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

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Sanjeeva Pandey and S. Sathyakumar.


BirdLife International (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: The BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

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

Garson, P. J., Young, L. and Kaul, R. (1992) Ecology and Conservation of the Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichii: studies in the wild and the progress of a reintroduction project. Biological Conservation. 59: 25- 35.

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

Gaston, A. J., Garson, P. J. and Hunter, M.L. Jr (1983) The status and conservation of forest wildlife in Himachal Pradesh, Western Himalayas. Biological Conservation 27: 291-314.

Kaul, R. (1989) Ecology of Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichii in Kumaun Himalaya. Ph.D. thesis, University of Kashmir, Srinagar.

Rodgers, W. A. and Panwar, H.S. (1988) Planning a wildlife protected area network in India. 2 vols. Project FO: IND/82/003. FAO, Dehra Dun.

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: Manali Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 24/10/2014

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