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Location India, West Bengal
Central coordinates 88o 2.17' East  27o 8.65' North
IBA criteria A1, A2
Area 7,860 ha
Altitude 2,600 - 3,650m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Singhalila National Park (SNP), situated at the northwestern border of Darjeeling district qualifies as an IBA because it harbours many endemic and threatened bird species. Climatically, this IBA is moist temperate, and parts of it lie within temperate to alpine zones. On the northern side, the Park is contiguous with the forests of Sikkim, while to the south, there are reserve forest corridors. If these are restored, the IBA would be connected to Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary near Darjeeling town. On the western side, there is contiguity with the forests in Nepal, though the areas are very small. Forest types include Wet Temperate Forests at altitudes 2,500-2,800 m which are dominated by Quercus sp. Moist Temperate Forests in the 2,850- 3,600 m range which include species such as Quercus pachyphylla, Betula utilis, Castanopsis tribuloides, Tsuga brunniona, Rhododendron sp. and an understorey of ringal bamboo; Subalpine Forests in the 3,000-3,650 m range include species like Abies densa, Betula utilis and Rhododendron sp. (S. Khaling, in litt. 2003). The forests of Singhalila are reported to be floristically very rich. Rhododendron (13 species), Magnolia, orchids, medicinal plants like Aconitum sp., Swertia chirata, Rheum sp., and Taxus baccata, are some of the important plant species found in the Park. Besides, the forests have a variety of mosses, lichens, mushrooms, tree ferns, climbers and other epiphytic plants (S. Khaling, in litt. 2003).

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: This IBA is widely known for its bird diversity. Sarla Khaling claims to record 500 bird species from an area which is just over 100 sq. km, but list is not available. These include the Satyr Tragopan Tragopan satyra, Blackbacked Kaleej Pheasant Lophura leucomelanos, Blood Pheasant Ithaginis cruentus, Hill Partridge Arborophila torqueola, Redbreasted Hill Partridge A. mandelli.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Some important mammals of SNP are Leopard Panthera pardus, Clouded Leopard Neofelis nebulosa, Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus, Chinese Pangolin Manis pentadactyla, Himalayan Mouse-Hare Ochotona roylei, rodents, bats. The rare Red Panda Ailurus fulgens is an important species of the National Park.

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  Vulnerable 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Wood Snipe Gallinago nemoricola breeding  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Grey Sibia Heterophasia gracilis resident  2004  present  A2  Least Concern 
Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Rusty-bellied Shortwing Brachypteryx hyperythra resident  2004  present  A1, A2  Near Threatened 

IBA Monitoring

2003 medium not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - small-holder farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) moderate to rapid deterioration low
Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Biological resource use gathering terrestrial plants - unintentional effects (species being assessed is not the target) happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Biological resource use logging & wood harvesting - unintentional effects: subsistence/small scale happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium
Human intrusions and disturbance recreational activities happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Human intrusions and disturbance work and other activities happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Singalila National Park 7,860 is identical to site 7,860  


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
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism

Acknowledgements Key contributor: Sarala Khaling.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Singhalila National Park. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016

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