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Location India, Uttaranchal
Central coordinates 79o 58.00' East  30o 21.05' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 62,462 ha
Altitude 2,100 - 7,817m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description The Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve is situated in the Kumaon and Garhwal regions of Western Himalayas, in the districts of Chamoli, Pithoragarh and Almora. It covers an area of 586,069 ha, with two core zones, the Nanda Devi National Park (62,462 ha) and Valley of Flowers National Park (8800 ha), and an outer buffer zone of 514,857 ha. Here we consider only the Nanda Devi NP as an IBA. The Valley of Flowers NP has been considered as a separate IBA. The Sanctuary is one of the most spectacular wilderness areas in the Himalayas. Nanda Devi (7,817 m), a natural monument, and India’s second highest peak, stands high above the basin of the Rishi Ganga river, which has cut for itself one of the finest gorges in the world. Unlike many other Himalayan areas, it is largely free from human settlement and has remained unspoiled due to its inaccessibility, particularly the forests of the lower Rishi Valley. Nanda Devi National Park meets Criteria (iii) and (iv) of the World Heritage Convention, based on its exceptional natural beauty and populations of rare and threatened mammals (IUCN Technical Evaluation). Access to Nanda Devi National Park is very difficult, due to a series of high ridges with peaks such as Lata, Jhandidhar, Dunagiri, Kalanka, Rishiparvat, Nanda Devi East, Nanda Khata and Trishul, which also form the boundary of the core zone. Thus, not only is Nanda Devi protected by law, but its geographic features act as an effective obstacle to human and livestock entry.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichii resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
White-throated Tit Aegithalos niveogularis 2004  present  A2  Least Concern 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Nanda Devi National Park 62,460 is identical to site 62,460  


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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research
rangeland/pastureland -
Notes: Grazing
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism and recreation

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Dhananjay Mohan, Rashid S. Raza and S. Sathyakumar.


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

Sankaran, R. (1995) Ornithological survey of Nanda Devi National Park, India. Forktail 10: 115-128.

Sathyakumar, S. (1993) Status of mammals in Nanda Devi National Park. Pp. 5-15 in Corps of Engineers’ scientific and ecological expedition to Nanda Devi National Park. New Delhi: Corps of Engineers.

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 International Series No. 7. BirdLife International, U.K.

Tak, P. C. and Kumar, G. (1987) Wildlife of Nanda Devi National Park: an update. Indian J. Forestry 10: 184-190.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. Downloaded from on 20/09/2014

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