Dang Deukhuri foothill forests and west Rapti wetlands

Site description (2005 baseline):

Site location and context
Sal Shorea robusta forest is the main vegetation type found here. Degraded grasslands occur along the Rapti River. Although the exact extent of remaining forest is unknown, the area may still retain a significant portion of Churia hill forests. The Rapti River flows through most of the lower Dang valley beneath the Churia range first on the northern side of the hills and then leaving the hills on the southern side.

Key biodiversity
Due to the general lack of ornithological surveys, bird life of this area remains very little known. Habitats, especially forests and wetlands, potentially support a good variety of birds. A proper survey in this area is needed, but because of the security situation this has not been feasible. A partial survey of vulture nests along the east west highway in 2003 found a total of 51 occupied White-rumped Vulture nests (Baral and Chaudhary 2003). Considering the number of known nests in the area and the available terrain, this IBA may hold the largest breeding population of the White-rumped Vultures in the country. There are large areas of dry tropical forests that are likely to support significant populations of characteristic species of the Indo-Malayan tropical dry zone biome. Dang’s subtropical forests may support significant populations of Sino-Himalayan subtropical forest biome.

Non-bird biodiversity: These forests are species-poor for mammals because of high hunting pressure and disturbance. Nothing is known about the status of herpetofauna and other vertebrates in this area.

Conservation responses/actions for key biodiversity
The Department of Forests manage forests in this area at present. Forests are being lost at a phenomenal rate as monitoring is rather weak. Encroachment from nearby villages and illegal logging are suspected to be the cause of forest loss and degradation. The WWF Nepal Program has proposed that part of this forest be included in the Royal Bardia National Park, nearly doubling the size of the Park (see Bardia IBA site account). This proposal, however, has still to be passed by HMG/N before it is enacted. Biological surveys are needed just as soon as it is safe to carry out the fieldwork to provide a clear picture of the biodiversity of this area.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Dang Deukhuri foothill forests and west Rapti wetlands. Downloaded from on 07/12/2023.