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Location India, Uttaranchal
Central coordinates 78o 41.08' East  29o 37.55' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 30,118 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description The Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary (WLS) is located in the Kotdwar tehsil of Pauri Garhwal district of Uttaranchal. It is named after the Sonanadi (river of gold). Deposits of gold have been reported along this river, hence the name. This Sanctuary spans an area of 30,118 ha of prime forest across the Ramganga river, adjoining the famous Corbett National Park. The Shiwalik-Terai is one of the most threatened ecosystems of the country and receives considerable conservation attention. Sonanadi WLS forms a critical part of the habitat of the northwest population of the Asian Elephant Elephas maximus. There are three major sub-populations in Corbett-Rajaji NP. Sonanadi is significant in that it constitutes a forest corridor between the Corbett and the Rajaji populations to facilitate their movements. Sonanadi WLS, Corbett NP and its buffer areas together comprise the Corbett Tiger Reserve, which holds the second largest population of Tiger Panthera tigris in the world (A. J. T. Johnsingh pers. comm. 2002). The greater part of the Sanctuary is covered with Sal Shorea robusta forests. Anogeissus latifolia can be seen on the slopes, associated with Sal in some places. In earlier days, many parts of the original forest were cleared to raise plantations of Tectona grandis, Ailanthus excelsa and Haplophragma adenophyllum.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Although no work has been carried out on the bird communities of Sonanadi WLS, its bird life is assumed to be rich as it adjoins Corbett where about 560 bird species have been reported (Grewal and Sahgal 1995). However, Sonanadi does not have as great a habitat diversity as Corbett. As there is no available checklist for Sonanadi WLS, it is classified here as Data Deficient. Two critically endangered species of vultures are found here but they are widespread, especially the Oriental White-backed Vulture Gyps bengalensis. Very few IBAs have been selected on the basis of only these two species of vultures.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Sonanadi has almost all the larger mammals that are found in Corbett and Rajaji National Parks, such as the Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, Tiger Panthera tigris, Leopard P. pardus, Sambar Cervus unicolor, Cheetal Axis axis, Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak, Nilgai Boselaphus tragocamelus, Wild Boar Sus scrofa and Sloth bear Melursus ursinus. Golden Jackal Canis aureus and Striped Hyena Hyaena hyaena are the smaller carnivores. No data are available on reptiles and amphibians.

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 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Sonanadi Sanctuary 30,118 is identical to site 30,118  


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
urban/industrial/transport -
Notes: Human habitation

Acknowledgements Key contributor: IBA team.


Grewal, B. and Sahgal, B. (Eds.) (1995) Birds of Corbett Tiger Reserve and its Environs. Authors, New Delhi. Pp. 24.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Sonanadi Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 06/05/2015

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