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Location India, Sikkim
Central coordinates 88o 32.02' East  27o 18.68' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 5,381 ha
Altitude 1,375 - 2,650m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary is located in East Sikkim on a mountain range opposite Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim.The highest point of the Sanctuary is the Tinjurey Peak (2,750 m), which is connected by mountainous ridges to Fambong Lho Peak and Ragorathai Peak. The Sanctuary is girdled with a number of growing villages. The word ‘Fambong Lho’ seems to have come from the Lepcha word Hambomloh for the local avocado trees Machilus edulis and M. odoratissima. The Himalayan Zoological Park above Gangtok is adjacent to the Sanctuary, separated by the Rani Khola (river). Both the Fambong Lho and the Gangtok ranges form part of the catchment of the Rani Khola (Anon. 2002) and are contiguous with the Ratey Chu Reserve Forest. The main vegetation of this IBA includes Oak Quercus lamellosa and ‘Katus’ Castanopsis hystrix. Rhododendron arboreum interspersed with Lyonia ovalifolia are seen gregariously on high hills and saddles. The IBA is also home to a large number of wild orchids, mosses, ferns and Lycopodium spp. (Anon. 2002).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Chestnut-breasted Partridge Arborophila mandellii resident  2004  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Slender-billed Vulture Gyps tenuirostris non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis resident  2004  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Hoary-throated Barwing Actinodura nipalensis 2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
White-naped Yuhina Yuhina bakeri 2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa resident  2004  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Rusty-bellied Shortwing Brachypteryx hyperythra resident  2004  present  A1, A2, A3  Near Threatened 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Fambong Lho Sanctuary 5,176 protected area contained by site 5,176  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism and recreation
water management -
Notes: Watershed management

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Usha Lachungpa.


Anonymous (2002) An Introduction to the Fauna of Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary East Sikkim. Unpublished Report of the Department of Forests, Environment and Wildlife, Government of Sikkim, Sikkim, India.

Ali, S. (1962) Birds of Sikkim. Oxford University Press, Madras.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary - Himalayan Zoological Park - Ratey Chu Reserve Forest. Downloaded from on 24/10/2014

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