Bherjan-Borajan-Podumoni Wildlife Sanctuary

Country/territory: India

IBA Criteria met: A1 (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 774 ha

Bombay Natural History Society
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2003 very high not assessed not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
Bherjan (105 ha), Borajan (493 ha) and Podumoni (176 ha) are tiny pockets of lowland tropical forest present in Tinsukia district, Assam. These forest areas have the distinction of having the highest biomass of primates anywhere in the Indian subcontinent (Choudhury 1995a, 1995b). The three areas are disjunct and separated by tea gardens and human habitations. These are entirely on the flat plains of the Brahmputra Valley, so they lie in the Endemic Bird Area called Assam Plains by BirdLife International (undated). Older alluvium of the River Brahmaputra covers all three areas. The compact and brownish soil is suitable for tea plantation, hence, all the forests have tea gardens on the fringe areas. There are small, scattered marshes, with swamps, covered with dense growth of grass and Alpinia herb. The natural vegetation of all these areas is Tropical Wet Evergreen ‘rainforest’ type. Bherjan is almost entirely covered with trees with closed canopy. The original vegetation has been replaced by a fairly old mixed plantation dominated by the deciduous species Lagerstroemia parviflora and Terminalia myriocarpa. The Podumoni part is mostly in a degraded state due to large-scale felling. The canopy has been very badly broken up. Only a few mature trees of Artocarpus, Bombax, Lagerstroemia and Mesua species can be seen. Bojaran is a pocket of excellent rainforest, dominated by Dipterocarpus macrocarpus. Except for Teak, all the species as in the other two forest pocket are found. Bamboo species are found in all areas. Stenochleana palustre, an edible fern, grows abundantly all over, especially in the openings and clearings.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: Eighty-four species of birds have been identified (Choudhury 1995a) including some threatened and Near Threatened species. This site has been identified as an IBA based on the presence of three threatened species, notably the Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus and two species of Gyps vultures. At least three pairs of Lesser Adjutant nest in Borajan RF. Locally it is called Godul (Choudhury 1995a). Many lowland birds of the Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests of Assam, of which only fragments are left, are found here. The Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris and the Near Threatened Great Pied Hornbill Buceros bicornis are occasional visitors to Bherjan and Podumoni. The site lies in Biome-9 (Indo-Chinese Tropical Moist Forest) as classified by BirdLife International (undated).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Other fauna of the Sanctuary include the Short-tailed Mole Euroscaptor micrura, Slow Loris Nycticebus coucang, Pig-tailed Macaque Macaca nemestrina, Rhesus Macaque M. mulatta, Assamese Macaque M. assamensis, Capped Langur Trachypithecus pileatus, Hoolock Gibbon Hylobates hoolock, Stump-tailed Macaque M. arctoides (locally extinct), Chinese Pangolin Manis pentadactyla, Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis, Leopard Panthera pardus, Tiger P. tigris (stray), Asian Elephant Elephas maximus (stray), Common Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista petaurista, Pallas’s Squirrel Callosciurus erythraeus, Malayan Giant Squirrel Ratufa bicolor, Chinese Porcupine Hystrix hodgsoni, Wild Boar Sus scrofa and Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak.

Key contributor: Anwaruddin Choudhury.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bherjan-Borajan-Podumoni Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 17/08/2022.