Year of compilation: 2004
AVIFAUNA: At least 175 bird species have been recorded in this IBA (Katti et al. 1992). Among the threatened birds, Spotbill Pelican Pelecanus philippensis was recorded just outside the Sanctuary in 1994 (Choudhury 2000). White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata was also recorded from Mehao lake (Choudhury 1995).
The Wedge-billed Wren-Babbler Sphenocichla humei, a Restricted Range species, and one of the least known Indian species, has been recorded from this Sanctuary (Katti et al. 1992). It has been collected only three times in the last century, in 1905 by Stevens (1914), in 1938 by Lightfoot (1940) and in 1988 by Ripley et al. (1991). It occurs in two races: humei and roberti. Rasmussen and Anderton (in press) have elevated these races to full species: Sphenocichla humei and Sphenocichla roberti. This would qualify one or both for threatened status (BirdLife International 2001). Ali and Ripley (1987) have also considered both subspecies as very rare residents.
Stattersfield et al. (1998) have identified endemic bird areas EBA) of the world and listed Restricted Range species found in each EBA. In the Eastern Himalayas EBA, 21 species are found in India, out of which 10 have been reported from this IBA. There are not many IBAs in this EBA where so many Restricted Range species are found.
Due to altitudinal variation from 400 m to 3,560 m, this site has three biomes: Biome 7 (Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest), Biome-8 (Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forest), Biome-9 (Indo-Chinese Tropical Moist Forest). A total of 60 biome species are found in this IBA but they are too many to list here.
OTHER KEY FAUNA: Chakraborty and Sen (1991) have recorded 66 mammals from this IBA site. Five primates have been recorded, of which Capped Langur Trachypithecus pileatus and Slow Loris Nycticebus coucang are uncommon (Chakraborty and Sen 1991). Red Panda Ailurus fulgens is found at higher elevations only. Seven species of Felids are reported, including the Snow Leopard Uncia uncia, which is only a winter visitor. Sinha (1984) has reported the Clouded Leopard Neofelis nebulosa, but Chakraborty and Sen (1991) could not confirm it during their survey. Marbled Cat Pardofelis marmorata is extremely rare in this IBA. Not much information is available on reptiles and amphibians.
Human pressure seems negligible at this stage. Though the terrain is rugged, human pressure may increase in future after construction of a road to the Sanctuary and due to its being close to Roing town. Occasional hunting in the Sanctuary and jhum cultivation on the fringes are prevalent.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mehao Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 04/12/2022.