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Location India, Sikkim
Central coordinates 88o 23.58' East  27o 18.83' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 3,534 ha
Altitude 2,100 - 3,300m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society



Site description Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary is located on the Maenam-Tendong ridge which runs north-south bisecting Sikkim longitudinally and is drained by the Tista river to the East and Rangit river in the West. The altitudinal gradient of 2,100 m - 3,300 m provides for a range of microclimates and floral diversity from subtropical forests to stabilized scree slopes. These diverse forest types in turn shelter a wide range of faunal elements. The Sanctuary has tremendous watershed value, being the only source of perennial water on this ridge. The South District headquarters, Namchi, situated 30 km due south totally depends on the water piped from the Burmelly stream originating from within the Sanctuary precincts. The adjoining town of Ravangla also depends on the Sanctuary for potable water. “Maenam-la” translates to the “Treasury of Medicines”, being a rich trove of medicinal plants. There is also a historical Buddhist monastery, the Maenam Gompa, at the top of the ridge. Interestingly, despite the disturbance from nearby urban areas, Maenam harbours a rich bird diversity (Anon. 2001). The entire stretch of forest along Temi-Tarku-Damthang-Tendong- Bhanjyang- Ravangla-Maenam and further north linking with Karjee-Labdang forests of the Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve is virtually contiguous, planted in a few places with the exotic Cryptomeria japonica trees. Tea plantations of the State Government occupy a part of Temi.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: There are several villages fringing this IBA due to which the habitat is open in several places. This open habitat coupled with patches of dense forest provides ideal bird habitats in the IBA. The Hodgson’s Frogmouth Batrachostomus hodgsoni was observed in Pabong area (Ganguli-Lachungpa and Lucksom 1998). The site lies in the Eastern Himalayas Endemic Bird Area (EBA- 130), in which Stattersfield et al. (1998) have listed 21 restricted range species. Eight of these have been seen here (U. Lachungpa pers. comm. 2003). This mid-altitude IBA falls mainly in Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest (Biome-7). BirdLife International (undated) has listed 112 species in this biome, of which 53 are found here. The higher reaches of this IBA, above 3,000 m show some birds of Biome-5 (Eurasian High Montane - Alpine and Tibetan) where 48 species are listed and seven are seen in this site. At lower reaches, Biome-7 merges with Biome-8 (Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forest) where 95 species are listed. Almost half of them (42 species) have been found here. Some areas of this IBA, especially in the valleys also show some faunal elements of Biome-9 (Indo-Chinese Tropical Moist Forest). Four species of this biome are also found here. They are Grey Peacock Pheasant Polyplectron bicalcaratum (unconfirmed), Pale-headed Woodpecker Gecinulus grantia, Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax pectoralis and Sultan Tit Melanochlora sultanea. The list of other biome species is too long to be mentioned here. This IBA has habitat contiguity with the Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve (U. Lachungpa pers. comm. 2003), therefore, both these IBAs together form a large habitat for the bird life of this small state. The site fulfils three IBA criteria: A1 (Threatened Species), A2 (EBA-130: Eastern Himalayas) and A3 (Biomerestricted species).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Fauna includes Red Panda Ailurus fulgens, Leopard Panthera pardus, Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus, Serow Nemorhaedus sumatraensis, Goral Nemorhaedus goral, Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak, Mouse Hare Ochotona roylei, Particoloured Flying Squirrel Hylopetes alboniger, Hoary-bellied Himalayan Squirrel Callosciurus pygerythrus, Orange-bellied Himalayan Squirrel Dremomys lokriah, Yellow-throated Marten Martes flavigula, Assamese Macaque Macaca assamensis and Himalayan Crestless Porcupine Hystrix brachyura.

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 
Blyth's Tragopan Tragopan blythii resident  2004  present  A1, A2, A3  Vulnerable 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis resident  2004  present  A1, A3  Vulnerable 
Broad-billed Warbler Tickellia hodgsoni 2004  present  A2, A3  Least Concern 
Blackish-breasted Babbler Sphenocichla humei resident  2004  present  A2, A3  Near Threatened 
Rufous-throated Wren-babbler Spelaeornis caudatus resident  2004  present  A2, A3  Near Threatened 
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)  
Maenam Sanctuary 3,534 is identical to site 3,534  

Habitats

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 contributors: Usha Lachungpa and Sandeep Tambe.

References 

Ahmed, A. and Ganguli-Lachungpa, U. (1996) Report on Biodiversity Survey of Maenam WLS. Unpublished report to Oriental Bird Club, U.K.

Anonymous (2001) Management Plan of Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary (unpublished). State Forest Department, Government of Sikkim, Deorali, Gangtok.

BirdLife International (undated) Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Asia: Project briefing book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K., unpublished.

Ganguli-Lachungpa, U. and Lucksom S. Z. (1998) Sighting of Hodgson’s Frogmouth Batrachostomus hodgsoni hodgsoni (G.R. Gray) from Sikkim. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 95 (3): 506.

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, Cambridge, U.K.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary - Tendong Reserve Forest. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 18/12/2014

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