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Location India, Jammu & Kashmir
Central coordinates 74o 52.00' East  32o 44.80' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 1,275 ha
Altitude 131 - 186m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description This is a very old sanctuary, established on Ramnagar ridge by the erstwhile Maharaja of Kashmir, nearly 5 decades ago. It is situated north of Jammu city. The Jammu-Srinagar national highway passes through the western side of the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is roughly wedge-shaped and located in the Kar Nullah which ultimately drains into Tawi river. The topography ranges from gently undulating to very steep cliffs. The forest is a part of the Lower Siwaliks, hence it is important for many Biome restricted species. An important shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi is located close to the Sanctuary, and visited by millions of pilgrims, but due to neglect of this area by the Forest Department, most of the visitors are not aware that they are near a Sanctuary. The area is covered with mixed scrub forest with occasional Chir Pinus trees. The vegetation of the Sanctuary as per the revised classification by Champion and Seth (1968) comes under the major group “Subtropical Northern Mixed Dry Deciduous Forests”. A variety of Subtropical broadleaf trees and shrubs are found in the Sanctuary, dominant among them being Acacia modesta. Some of the species found in this Sanctuary are Acacia arabica, Acacia catachu, Adhatoda vasica Adina coardifolia, Aegle marmelos, Albizzia lebbeck, Bauhinia purpurea, Bombax ceiba, Dalbergia sissoo and Ziziphus mauritiana.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Based on preliminary investigations, 37 species of birds have been found in this Sanctuary. Among pheasants, Red Junglefowl Gallus gallus, Kaleej Pheasant Lophura leucomelanos and Peafowl Pavo cristatus are notable. Grey Francolin Francolinus pondicerianus is quite common. The species of conservation interest are Oriental White-backed Vulture Gyps bengalensis and Slender-billed Vulture G. tenuirostris. This site has been selected as a potential habitat for Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forest biome species. In India, it is the westernmost point of this type of forest.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: This dry deciduous forest harbours Leopard Panthera pardus as the major predator. Despite disturbance, it survives due to its nocturnal habit and elusive nature. Its main natural prey species are Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak, Cheetal Axis axis, Wild Boar Sus scrofa and Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus. Jackal Canis aureus and Jungle Cat Felis chaus are smaller predators. Nonhuman primates recorded are Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatta and Common Langur Semnopithecus entellus. According to the new classification of Langurs by Groves (2001), the ‘new species’ found in Ramnagar would be S. ajax.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 

IBA Monitoring

2003 medium 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%) slow but significant deterioration low
Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
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%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - abstraction of ground water (unknown use) 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%) no or imperceptible deterioration low
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - soil erosion, sedimentation happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) very rapid to severe deterioration low

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Ramnagar Rakha Sanctuary 1,275 is identical to site 1,275  

Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
Ramnagar SSG 0


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

Land use

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

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Tahir Shawl.


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

Groves, C. (2001) Primate Taxonomy. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D. C.

Hussein, S. (1999-2000) Eco-development plan of Ramnagar Wildlife Sanctuary: 1999-2000. Department of Wildlife Protection, Jammu and Kashmir Government.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Ramnagar Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

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