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Location India, Manipur
Central coordinates 94o 27.53' East  25o 6.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 5,000 ha
Altitude 1,500 - 2,570m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society



Site description Shiroi Hills is located in the Ukhrul district of Manipur state, at about 100 km northeast of the capital Imphal. Though most of the hills are denuded of forest cover, due to jhum cultivation, the slopes of Shiroi Hills still have good Subtropical Broadleaf Forest with grasses and shrubs on the hilltop. Shiroi Hill is famous for the Shiroi Lily Lilium macklineae, endemic to the Shiroi Ridge. The area supports threatened species such as Mrs. Hume’s Pheasant Syrmaticus humiae, Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis and Blyth’s Tragopan Tragopan blythii. Considering the ecological importance of the area, the state government of Manipur had proposed to declare the Shiroi Hills (about 4,100 ha) as a National Park but the local community did not agree to hand over their area to the government. However, they are willing to protect it through community initiatives (A. U. Choudhury pers. comm. 2002).

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: There is no information on the avifauna of the Shiroi Hills area, except for the known presence of a few endangered birds. Choudhury (2002) recorded Mrs. Hume’s Pheasant at this site. This globally threatened species (BirdLife International 2001) is still found in the hills of Ukhrul and Senapati districts of Manipur. It is also thinly distributed in the hill tracts of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram, northern and western Myanmar and southwestern China (Ali and Ripley 1983, Grimmett et al. 1998, Fuller and Garson 2000). There are two subspecies of Hume’s Pheasant, one of which, S. humiae humiae, is found in India and western Myanmar, while the other, S. h. burmanicus, occurs in southern China, northern and eastern Myanmar and extreme northern Thailand (BirdLife International 2001). The global population is estimated at a few thousand individuals, and the population of subspecies humiae may be as low as 1,000 (McGowan and Garson 1995, BirdLife International 2001). As the species survives in disturbed and secondary forests, deforestation may not be its main threat. However, this large bird is extensively hunted for its flesh. Shiroi Hills is included in the Eastern Himalayas Endemic Bird Area (EBA), identified by Stattersfield et al. (1998). This bird rich area of India has 21 restricted range species of which two have been definitely identified but more are likely to occur. The site lies in Biome-7 (Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest) and Biome-7 (Sino-Himalayan Sub-tropical Forest) In Biome-7 112 species are listed by BirdLife International (undated). As the habitat is largely intact, many species of this biome are likely to occur here. Detailed investigation on the avifauna is urgently needed.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: As in the other hill forests of Manipur, Leopard Panthera pardus, Wild Dog Cuon alpinus, Hoolock Gibbon Hylobates hoolock, Stump-tailed Macaque Macaca arctoides and the Slow Loris Nycticebus coucang are among the known mammals.

Tiger Panthera tigris and Gaur Bos frontalis are occasionally seen. Not much information is available on the reptiles and amphibians.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Blyth's Tragopan Tragopan blythii resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Mrs Hume's Pheasant Syrmaticus humiae resident  2004  present  A1  Near Threatened 
Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Grey Sibia Heterophasia gracilis 2004  present  A2  Least Concern 

Habitats

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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
forestry -
Notes: Forestry
water management -
Notes: Water catchment

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Anwaruddin Choudhury, Salam Rajesh and W. Rajesh Singh.

References 

Ali, S. and Ripley, S. D. (1987) Compact Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan (Second Edition). Oxford University Press, Delhi.

BirdLife International (undated) Important Bird Areas (IBA) in Asia: Project Briefing Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K. (unpublished).

BirdLife International (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: The BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, U.K.

Choudhury, A. U. (1998) Manipur biodiversity threatened. Sanctuary Asia. 18 (4) 30-39.

Choudhury, A. U. (2002) Survey of Mrs Hume’s Pheasant in northeastern India. The Rhino Foundation for Nature in North East India, Guwahati. Pp. 27.

Fuller, R. A. and Garson, P. J. (eds) (2000) Pheasants: Status survey and conservation action plan 2000-2004. WPA/BirdLife/SSC Pheasant Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K. and the World Pheasant Association, Reading, U.K.

Grimmet, R., Inskipp, C. and Inskipp, T. (1998) The Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Christopher Helm Ltd., U.K.

McGowan, P. J. K. and Garson, P. J. (1995) Pheasants: Status survey and conservation action plan 1995-1999. IUCN-The World Conservation Union, Gland, Switzerland.

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, U.K.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Shiroi Community Forest. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 23/11/2014

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