Dibang Reserve Forest and adjacent areas

Year of compilation: 2004

Site description (baseline)
This IBA is often confused with Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary, also an IBA because of the similarity in the first name. While the Sanctuary covers higher mountainous areas of the Mishmi Hills along the India-China international border, this IBA is in flat and gently sloping terrain, in the lower reaches of the Dibang river up to the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh interstate border. The present IBA includes parts of Dibang Reserve Forest (RF), Kerim RF and the whole of Sirkee proposed RF as mapped in Choudhury (1996). It also includes the entire riverbed of the Dibang, at places up to 8 km wide with sandy and grassy tracts. This IBA forms part of two Endemic Bird Areas (Stattersfield et al. 1998), which is noteworthy. Tall wet savannah grassland occurs on the islets of the Dibang river, while the forest away from the river is mostly Tropical Wet Evergreen. The main forested areas are between Dambuk-Bomjir and Bijari.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: At least 150 bird species have been listed, but the total diversity may be more than 300 species (A. U. Choudhury pers. comm. 2003). This IBA is known for its rich assemblage of threatened birds including the Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus, Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis, Black-breasted Parrotbill Paradoxornis flavirostris, Jerdon's Babbler Chrysomma altirostre and Marsh Babbler Pellorneum palustre (A. U. Choudhury pers. comm. 2003), White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata (Choudhury 1996) and the Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis (Choudhury 1998). The first record of the Spot-bill Pelican Pelecanus philippensis in Arunachal Pradesh was from the northern edge of this IBA (not far from Mehao IBA) (Choudhury 2000). This is also an important staging area for migratory birds and a new migration route of the Common Crane Grus grus was discovered here (Choudhury 1994).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Among the major mammals are the Tiger Panthera tigris, Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, Asiatic Wild Water Buffalo Bubalus arnee (=bubalis) and Hog Deer Axis porcinus (Choudhury 2003).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
MAIN THREATS: Encroachment; Poaching; Grazing; Collection of thatching material; Felling of trees.

The major issue is encroachment and dereservation for human settlement. As more and more people are looking for flat land, there is tremendous pressure on the area. Charaching, grazing of cattle and buffalos, collection of thatching and felling of trees are other major issues. The site was recommended as a protected area to be named the Dibang River National Park (Choudhury, 1996).

Key contributors: Anwaruddin Choudhury, Nur Hussain, Dilip Handique and Leto Mili.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Dibang Reserve Forest and adjacent areas. Downloaded from on 08/06/2023.