email a friend
printable version
Location India, Himachal Pradesh
Central coordinates 78o 39.00' East  31o 20.38' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 65,000 ha
Altitude 3,200 - 5,486m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Located in the catchment area of the Baspa Valley, the Sangla Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in the arid zone of the middle Himalayas. The flora and fauna is therefore quite unique. Govind Wildlife Sanctuary of Uttaranchal is adjacent to its southern boundary, and a little beyond the eastern boundary of the Sangla Sanctuary lies the Tibetan plateau (Singh et al. 1990). The high altitude areas (above 2,000 m) of this Sanctuary are less accessible and therefore, less disturbed. Thick forests of Deodar Cedrus deodara, and Chilgoza pine Pinus girardiana, and broadleaf species are found from 2,000 m upwards. From 2,800 m upwards, Fir-Spruce Mixed Forest with bamboo-dominated undergrowth prevails. This Sanctuary is known for its vast alpine pastures. The forest clad hill slopes are very steep, punctuated with rock outcropping bearing no vegetation at all. Such habitats alternate with a vast number of hill streams (nullahs), which descend to meet the main valleys of Shong, Barua, Rukti and Batseri nullahs. The precipitous hill slopes in these remote valleys make them difficult for humans to approach, but are suitable for wildlife. Five major forest types are seen in this Sanctuary: Dry Alpine Scrub, Dry Temperate Coniferous Forest, Dry Broadleaf and Coniferous Forest, Upper West Himalayan Temperate Forests, and Lower Western Himalayan Temperate Forests. This classification is based on Champion and Seth (1968). The higher reaches are snowbound most of the year, and four glaciers are located within the Sanctuary. The alpine area of Sangla WLS has a rich growth of herbs. The local villagers earn part of their livelihood by collecting and selling them. The most important herb, collected in quantities, is Dhup Jurinea macrocephella. Other herbs are Karu Gentiana kurroo, Patish Aconitum heterophyllum, and Kuth Banafsha Viola canescens, Saussurea lappa. Several herbs found in the alpine pastures of this Sanctuary are of great importance in Ayurvedic medicine.

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)  
Sangla Sanctuary 65,000 is identical to site 65,000  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture

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 the 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.

Stattersfield, A. J., Crosby, M. J., Long, A. J. and Wege, D. C. (1998) Endemic Bird Areas of the World: Priorities for Biodiversity Conservation. BirdLife Conservation Series No. 7. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

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: Sangla (Raksham Chitkul) Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 24/10/2014

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