Lumding - Marat Longri

Site description (2004 baseline):

Site location and context
This site includes Marat Longri Wildlife Sanctuary (45,100 ha) in Karbi Anglong district and Lumding Reserve Forest (22,300 ha) in Nagaon district covering parts of central Assam. A part of this area, along with Dhansiri Reserve Forest, was proposed for a tiger reserve (Choudhury 1998). It is already a part of Dhansiri- Lungding Elephant Reserve that was notified in 2003. Marat Longri WLS includes four reserve forests: Disama, Kaki (Karbi Anglong part), Inglongkiri and Miyungdisa. The area consists of plains and undulating country to low hills, which are part of the Karbi plateau and plains of the Kopili and Diyung rivers. Other important rivers are Jamuna and Lungding. The Jamuna river marks the northern boundary of Marat Longri WLS. While these rivers are perennial, most of the smaller streams become dry during winter. The area has a tropical monsoon type climate: summers hot and wet, winters cool and dry. The area is in a relatively low rainfall zone (rain-shadow area) of northeast India. The forest type is tropical Moist Deciduous and Tropical Semievergreen. Abandoned jhums (slash-and-burn shifting cultivation of hill tribes) are covered with various grasses such as Themeda villosa, Saccharum procerum, Imperata cylindrica, Eupatorium odoratum, and shrubs. Plantations of the Forest Department are mostly of Teak Tectona grandis, Gmelina arborea and Albizzia procera.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: About 240 species have been recorded during short visits but there could be 300 to 350 species (A. U. Choudhury pers. comm. 2003). The White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata has been recorded in Marat Longri WLS (Choudhury 1993) and Lumding RF. There are past records from near Kaki RF (Nagaon district). The Green Peafowl Pavo muticus used to frequent the riverbanks, but is not seen any more. Among the hornbills, Oriental Pied Anthracoceros albirostris, Great Pied Buceros bicornis and Wreathed Aceros undulates are commonly seen. Other birds of interest are the Whitecheeked Hill Partridge Arborophila atrogularis, Grey Peacock Pheasant Polyplectron bicalcaratum, Black-backed Forktail Enicurus immaculatus, Himalayan Golden-backed Woodpecker Dinopium shorii, Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax moniligerus, Black-gorgeted Laughingthrush G. pectoralis, Rufous-necked Laughingthrush G. ruficollis and Sultan Tit Melanochlora sultanea. These species are included in Biome-9 (Indo-Chinese Tropical Moist Forest). Many species of other biomes are also seen. Notable amongst them are: Common Hill Partridge Arborophila torqueola, Bamboo Partridge Bambusicola fytchii, Pied Falconet Microhierax melanoleucos, Grey-headed Parakeet Psittacula finschii, Asian Emerald Cuckoo Chrysococcyx maculatus, Bay Woodpecker Blythipicus pyrrhotis, Maroon Oriole Oriolus traillii, Black-naped Oriole O. tenuirostris, Grey Treepie Dendrocitta formosae, Black-winged Cuckoo-shrike Coracina melaschistos, White-throated Bulbul Alophoixus flaveolus, Greywinged Blackbird Turdus boulboul and Red-headed Babbler Stachyris ruficeps.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Like all other forest areas of northeast, Lumding-Marat Longri is also rich in animal life. Choudhury (1996) has reported seven species of primates: Hoolock Gibbon Hylobates hoolock, Capped Langur Trachypithecus pileatus, Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatta, Pig-tailed Macaque M. nemestrina, Assamese Macaque M. assamensis, Stump-tailed Macaque M. arctoides and Slow Loris Nycticebus coucang.

This IBA site is an important habitat for the Asian Elephant Elephas maximus and the area is notified as an Elephant Reserve under Project Elephant. It also harbours two large cats, Tiger Panthera tigris and Leopard P. pardus, one medium sized cat Clouded leopard Neofelis nebulosa, and two small cats, Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis and Jungle Cat Felis chaus, apart from Wild dog Cuon alpinus and Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus.

Herbivores are Gaur Bos frontalis, Serow Nemorhaedus sumatraensis, Sambar Cervus unicolor, Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak, and Malayan Giant Squirrel Ratufa bicolor. In the dense parts of the forest, Binturong Arctitis binturong is found, but due to its nocturnal nature, it is rarely seen.

Not much is known of the reptilian and amphibian fauna of this site. Choudhury (1993) has recorded Keeled Box Turtle Pyxidea mouhotii and many common reptiles of Assam forests.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
MAIN THREATS: Encroachment; Poaching; Illegal felling of trees; Insurgency; Jhum cultivation.

Encroachment in the forest was negligible till mid 1980s. Subsequently, it has taken place in Lumding RF, as well as part of Marat Longri, but large tracts are still free from human disturbance. Although poaching is not a major threat as yet, deer, primates, porcupines, large birds and monitor lizards are sometimes killed for food by local people. Illegal felling of trees and insurgency are two major social and conservation issues, needing urgent attention if this area is to be saved. One of the ways to tackle these problems is regulated and culturally sensitive ecotourism. This IBA has great tourism potential because of its easy accessibility. A national highway passes through the northern boundary of Marat Longri WLS while the southern boundary is largely contiguous with the Diphu- Lumding main road. The Nagaon-Lumding road (recently upgraded to a national highway) passes through the middle of Lumding RF. Silbheta Falls is a popular picnic spot on the Jamuna River in Marat Longri WLS. Lumding is an important railhead of the North East Frontier Railway. Therefore, logistically, this site is well connected.

Key contributor: Anwaruddin Choudhury.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Lumding - Marat Longri. Downloaded from on 30/09/2023.