email a friend
printable version
Location India, West Bengal
Central coordinates 88o 51.58' East  26o 49.20' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 7,995 ha
Altitude 25 - 275m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society



Site description Gorumara has been under protection since 1895, when it was declared a Reserve Forest under the Indian Forest Act (VII of 1878). It became a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1949, and was finally elevated to National Park status in 1994. However, the final notification procedure is still not complete. Gorumara is located in the flood plains of Murti and Jaldhaka rivers in the Duars region, a terai habitat of Jalpaiguri district. There are many rivulets that have created wet grasslands, ideal for the One-horned Rhinoceros Rhinoceros unicornis, for which this area was protected for more than 100 years. In 1996, 16 individuals were present in Gorumara (Pratihar and Chakraborty 1996). The vegetation of Gorumara can be classified into four main types: Moist Deciduous and Dry Deciduous forests, Semi-evergreen forest, Riverine Forest and Savannah Forest. Nearly 326 species of plants have been identified, including 158 species of trees and 32 grasses (Anon. 1998). The core area of the Park contains dense mixed forest with thick undergrowth and is mainly composed of tall trees such as Shorea robusta, Tectona grandis, Bombax ceiba, Amoora wallichi, Dalbergia sissoo, Sterculia villosa and Ficus bengalensis (Pratihar and Chakraborty 1996). An interesting grass species is Citronella, which adds the fragrance of citrus fruit to the air, wherever it occurs in the Park.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Gorumara has rich bird diversity but unfortunately, no systematic work has been done here. The Management Plan of Gorumara, prepared by the Wildlife Circle, State Forest Department (Anon. 1998) lists 193 species, including many Red Data Book species. Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis, a globally threatened species found from the Himalaya foothills to 1,800 m (Ali and Ripley 1987) is also listed. Based on the information gathered during IBA workshops in West Bengal, nine species belonging to threatened category (Critically Endangered and Vulnerable) and five species belonging to Near Threatened category of BirdLife International (2001) are found at this site. The Endangered Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis is not seen in recent year but some grasslands maintained for the One-horned Rhinoceros could be suitable for this bird. A small portion of this IBA falls in Eastern Himalayas (Endemic Bird Area 130) in which 21 restricted range species are listed. Only one species, the Snowy-throated Babbler Stachyris oglei has been identified till now, but more are likely to be found once detailed investigations are done. As most of Gorumara is plain, the site also lies in Assam Plains Endemic Bird Area (EBA 131) of Stattersfield et al. (1998). In this EBA, three bird species are listed, out of which Black-breasted Parrotbill Paradoxornis flavirostris is found.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: In addition to the Rhinoceros, Gorumara is known for its megamammalian fauna such as the Asiatic Elephant Elephas maximus, Gaur Bos frontalis, Tiger Panthera tigris, and Leopard P. pardus.

According to the Management Plan of Gorumara National Park of the Wildlife Circle, West Bengal Forest Department, 48 species of mammals have been identified till now (Anon. 1998). Pratihar and Chakraborty (1996) have listed 43 mammal species, including the Malayan Giant Squirrel Ratufa bicolor gigantea and the highly-endangered Hispid Hare Caprolagus hispidus.

However, Maheswaran (2002) found no evidence of Hispid Hare in Gorumara National Park. Chital or Spotted Deer Axis axis is also reported by the Forest Department, but Pratihar and Chakraborty (1996) could not find it.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis resident  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Snowy-throated Babbler Stachyris oglei resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 
Black-breasted Parrotbill Paradoxornis flavirostris resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Gorumara National Park 7,945 is identical to site 7,945  

Habitats

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

Land use

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

Acknowledgements Key contributor: IBA Team.

References 

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

Anonymous (1998) Management Plan of Gorumara National Park, West Bengal (1997-98 to 2006-07). Wild Life Circle, Government of West Bengal.

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

Maheshwaran, G. (2002) Status and ecology of endangered Hispid Hare Caprolagus hispidus in Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary. Final Report. Wildife Conservation Society and Bombay Natural History Society.

Pratihar, S. and Chakraborty, S. (1996) An account of the mammalian fauna of Gorumara National Park, Jalpaiguri, West Bengal. Rec. Zool. Surv. India 95(3-4): 229-241.

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.

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Gorumara National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/12/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife