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Location India, Himachal Pradesh
Central coordinates 76o 49.73' East  32o 30.18' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 10,295 ha
Altitude 2,550 - 6,072m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description This Sanctuary lies in Chamba district, 113 km from Chamba town. Access is from Kilar by foot to Sechu (15 km), alternatively via Kishtwar in Jammu and Kashmir to Sarsu and onwards by foot to Sechu. The Sanctuary includes several glaciers. Hindu and Buddhist temples are also located at Bhat, Tuan, Hilu, Chrroti and Kalichor. There are 11 villages inside the Sanctuary, with a total population of more than a thousand people. Fourteen villages with a population of about 3,000 are located in the surrounding area. The number of livestock grazing inside the Sanctuary is above 3,000 (Singh et al. 1990). According to Champion and Seth (1968), three forest types are found in this IBA: Dry Alpine Scrub, Moist Alpine Scrub, and Lower Western Himalayan Temperate Forest. Species of medicinal value include Aconitum heterophyllum, Jurinea macrocephala and Ephedra gerardiana (Singh et al. 1990). Plantations of fuelwood and other commercial forest products have been established by the Forest Department. Species planted include Cedar Cedrus deodara, Poplar Salix sp., Kail Pinus wallichiana, Willow Alnus, Robinia Robinia sp. and Walnut Juglans regia (Singh et al. 1990).

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: There is a paucity of published records on the birds of this Sanctuary. Singh et al. (1990) provide a preliminary list of 16 bird Forest species recorded in the Sanctuary, but considering the size and altitude gradient, there could be ten times more species. Five species from Biome-5 (Eurasian High Montane (Alpine and Tibetian) and four of Biome-7 (Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest) have been identified in the preliminary list. The globally threatened Western Tragopan Tragopan melanocephalus is present in this IBA, but its density and distribution are not known. Himalayan Snowcock Tetraogallus himalayensis, Himalayan or Impeyan Monal Lophophorus impejanus and Koklass Pheasant Pucrasia macrolopha are found here but data on general bird life is lacking. The site is considered Data Deficient till we have more information on avifauna.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Sechu Tuan is a high altitude sanctuary with significant populations of Himalayan Ibex Capra sibirica and Musk deer Moschus chrysogaster. Snow Leopard Uncia uncia has also been reported (Singh et al. 1990).

In the alpine and sub-alpine regions, besides the Snow Leopard, Ibex Capra sibirica, Blue Sheep Pseudois nayaur and Himalayan Mouse Hare or Pika Ochotona roylei have been recorded. At slightly lower elevations, Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus, Brown Bear Ursus arctos, Goral Nemorhaedus goral, Serow Nemorhaedus sumatraensis, and Himalayan Tahr Hemitragus jemlahicus can be seen.

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 

IBA Monitoring

2003 low not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Natural system modifications fire & fire suppression - increase in fire frequency/intensity happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Residential and commercial development commercial and industrial development happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Transportation and service corridors roads and railroads happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Sechu Tuan Nala National Park 10,300 is identical to site 10,295  
Sechu Tuan Nala Sanctuary 10,295 is identical to site 10,295  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
rangeland/pastureland -
Notes: Grazing

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Sanjeeva Pandey.


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

Rodger, W. A. and Panwar, H. S. (1988) Planning a Protected Area Network in India. 2 vols. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.

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 (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Sechu Tuan Nala Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 21/10/2016

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