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Location India, Meghalaya
Central coordinates 90o 20.00' East  25o 27.50' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 4,748 ha
Altitude 600 - 1,412m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Nokrek National Park is located in the Garo Hills of Meghalaya state, covering parts of three districts, i.e. East Garo Hills, West Garo Hills and South Garo Hills. Nokrek was declared as a National Park in 1986 while the final notification was issued in 1997. The Park is very small, but it serves as the core area of the Nokrek Biosphere Reserve (82,000 ha). The area of the National Park has been acquired by outright purchase of land from the local communities by the Government of Meghalaya. The entire Park is hilly, the northern aspect has comparatively gentle slopes, while the southern aspect consists of moderate to very steep slopes. Dense clusters of low hills characterize the area, with a central ridge traversing from northwest to northeast. This is known as the Tura Ridge. The Tura Ridge constitutes the backbone of the Garo Hills, which lie at the western end of the Meghalaya plateau. The range has an elevation of c. 1,200 m. Numerous rivers and streams originate from these hills and flow over narrow, rocky beds to join the Brahmaputra and Meghna rivers. Major rivers are Simsang (the longest in the Garo Hills), Ganol, Dareng, Nitai and Bhugi (Lahkar et al. 2002). The terrain is rocky, and in many places the ridge is devoid of topsoil. Climatic conditions in the Garo Hills are tropical, characterized by high rainfall and humidity during monsoon (April- October). The forest can be described as Eastern Submontane Semi- Evergreen Forest grouped under Tropical Semi-evergreen Forests of Champion and Seth (1968). The hilltop forests are mostly cloud forest, i.e they are covered in clouds most of the time during the monsoon. Vegetation on the southern slopes is limited to occasional patches of Moist Deciduous forest, dominated by birch Betula sp. at higher altitudes and mixed secondary scrub at lower altitudes. Very little vegetation remains on the gentler northern slopes, and is restricted to a narrow fringe of Evergreen and Semi-evergreen forest along the ridge. Varieties of Citrus indica, a wild, primitive relative of cultivated citrus species, are present in large numbers (Gogoi 1981).

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: About 150 bird species have been recorded from Nokrek NP, in a survey of the avifauna (Lahkar et al. 2002). One Restricted Range species and 36 Biome species were recorded from the Park during the survey. Though local people report the occurrence of Rufousnecked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis, Lahkar et al. (2002) could not find any bird. Both Oriental White-backed Gyps bengalensis and Slender-billed vultures G. tenuirostris were seen. More detailed surveys are required of this IBA. As the elevation of this site varies from 600 to 1400 m, it falls into two biomes: Biome-9 (Indo-Chinese Tropical Moist Forest, below c. 1,000 m) and Biome-8 (Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forests, c. 1000 to 2,000 m). BirdLife International (undated) has identified 95 bird species which represent Biome-8 assemblages, and 19 species of Biome-9. Based on the preliminary investigation of bird life (Lahkar et al. 2002), eight species of Biome-8 and three species of Biome-9 have been seen till now at this site. More species are likely to be present. This site is selected as IBA based on presence of threatened species and biome-restricted assemblages.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: The area is an important part of the range of the Indian Elephant Elephas maximus. Primates include Hoolock Gibbon Hylobates hoolock, Capped Langur Trachypithecus pileatus, Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatta, and Stump-tailed macaque M. arctoides (Choudhury 2002). Nokrek is famed for its diversity of large and small cats, ranging from Tiger Panthera tigris, Leopard P. pardus, Clouded Leopard Neofelis nebulosa, Golden Cat Catopuma temmincki to Leopard cat Prionailurus bengalensis. The main Canids are Golden Jackal Canis aureus and Wild dog Cuon alpinus. The Himalayan Black Bear Ursus thibetanus is another large carnivore. Large Indian civet Viverra zibetha, Small Indian civet Viverricula indica, Himalayan palm civet Paguma larvata, and Binturong Arctictis binturong are predators on smaller mammals and birds. Wild Boar Sus scrofa, Sambar Cervus unicolor, Barking deer Muntiacus muntjak, Serow Nemorhaedus sumatraensis and Gaur Bos frontalis are the major ungulates (Gogoi 1981).

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 
Grey Sibia Heterophasia gracilis resident  2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

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

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - shifting agriculture happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) very rapid to severe deterioration low
Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Biological resource use gathering terrestrial plants - unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
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 small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Energy production and mining mining and quarrying happening now some of area/population (10-49%) moderate to rapid deterioration high
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities 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
Pollution agricultural & forestry effluents - soil erosion, sedimentation 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)  
Nokrek National Park 4,748 is identical to site 4,748  


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

Land use

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

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Bibhuti Prasad Lahkar, Hilloljyoti Singha, Praveen J. and Firoz Ahmed.


Champion, H. G. and Seth, S. K. (1968) A Revised Survey of the Forest types in India. Government of India Press, New Delhi.

Choudhury, A. U. (2002) Status and conservation of the stump-tailed macaque M. arctoides in India.Primate Report 63: 63-72.

Gogoi, P. C. (1981) Tura Ridge Biosphere Reserve (Citrus Gene Sanctuary). Department of Forests, Government of Meghalaya, Shillong. Pp 99.

Lahkar, B. P., Ahmed, M. F., Praveen J. and Singha, H. (2002) Survey of the Avifauna of the Nokrek National Park and its Environ with special reference to RDB species. Aaranyak. Pp. 25.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Nokrek National Park. Downloaded from on 24/10/2016

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