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Location India, Himachal Pradesh
Central coordinates 77o 10.52' East  31o 31.37' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 7,200 ha
Altitude 1,800 - 3,359m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description This high altitude Sanctuary is named after the goddess Shikari Devi, to whom a temple is dedicated and the place is considered sacred by Hindus. An area of 7,200 ha surrounding the temple was declared a sanctuary in 1962. Nearly 40 villages are present inside the Sanctuary, and many more in the surrounding areas. However, there are still good habitats for wild animals. Even the Snow Leopard Uncia uncia has been reported from this site in winter but it needs confirmation. Owing to great variation in altitude, Shikari Devi Sanctuary has seven forest types, according to the classification by Champion and Seth (1968): Alpine Pasture, Sub-alpine Forest, Moist Temperate Deciduous Forest, West Himalayan Upper Oak/Fir forest, Kharsu Oak Forest, Western Mixed Coniferous Forest, and Ban Oak Forest (Singh et al. 1990). This Sanctuary covers the middle altitudinal range from 1,800 to 3,400 m of the Himalayas, showing transition from pine through oak to alpine meadow (Rodgers and Panwar 1988). Information on percentage of different forest types and their ecological condition is not available. However, there are some good patches of temperate forest that have representative bird fauna of the Western Himalayas.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Not much information is available about bird life of this site, except that the globally threatened Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichii is found, probably in good numbers. Himalayan or Impeyan Monal Lophophorus impejanus, Koklass Pheasant Pucrasia macrolopha, Kaleej Lophura leucomelana and Western Tragopan Tragopan melanocephalus are also found. The last species needs confirmation from this site. This IBA lies in the Western Himalayas Endemic Bird Area (EBA). It also has biome-restricted species of Eurasian High Montane (Biome-5) and Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest (Biome-7). BirdLife International (undated) has listed 48 species in Biome-5. From the preliminary list that we have, we could find only five species, most of them quite common and of no conservation concern. Similarly, in Biome-7, 112 species are listed but we could find published evidence of only four species. This indicates the paucity of information and not paucity of bird life of this IBA. If more detailed studies are conducted on birds, perhaps more biome and globally threatened species would be found.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Shikari Devi WLS has several high altitude mammals such as Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus and Goral Nemorhaedus goral. There are unconfirmed reports of Snow Leopard. At temperate forest level, Leopard Panthera pardus, Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak, Langur Semnopithecus entellus and Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatta are reported. The Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista petaurista albiventer, Kashmir Flying Squirrel Hylopetes fimbriatus, Stone Marten Martes foina, and Himalayan Weasel Mustela sibirica are also found here. There is no information on the reptile fauna.

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, A3  Vulnerable 

IBA Monitoring

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

Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now majority/most of area/population (50-90%) slow but significant deterioration high
Biological resource use gathering terrestrial plants - unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Biological resource use hunting & collecting terrestrial animals - intentional use (species being assessed is the target) happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Shikari Devi Sanctuary 7,200 is identical to site 7,200  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature Conservation

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, Delhi. Pp. 403.

Rodgers, W. A. and Panwar, H. S. (1988) Planning a Protected Area Network in India. 2 vol. 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: Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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