IN407
Tamaranga - Dalani - Bhairab Complex


Year of compilation: 2004

Site description
Tamaranga-Dalani-Bhairab Complex includes the wetlands of Tamaranga, Konora, Paropota and Dalani, and an isolated hillock, Bhairab Pahar, in western Assam. The hillock has been proposed as a reserve forest. The area comprises four wetlands totalling more than 1,000 ha, and one proposed Reserve Forest of c. 3,605 ha. This IBA site is situated only 30 km from Bongaigaon town, the district headquarters. The beels (wetlands) are leased out by the Government for fishing. The proposed Reserve Forest is rocky hillock, part of an Archaean plateau, covered with degraded Moist Deciduous Forest and Bamboo brakes. Tamaranga and Dalani are large beels that attract many migratory birds including some rare ones. They are also good breeding grounds for resident waterbirds. The hill is surrounded by tribal settlements of the Bodo, Garo and Rabha tribes, who have been involved by the Forest Department under the Joint Forest Management scheme to protect the biodiversity. To promote ecotourism, the district administration has initiated a project named Bihanga Vihar. The wetlands are covered with Water Hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes. Wherever this pernicious weed is not found, submerged and emergent plants can be seen. The surrounding forest is Tropical Moist Deciduous, dominated by Sal Shorea robusta.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: More than 150 bird species are known to occur in this Complex, though the number could be much higher. The site regularly holds more than 20,000 waterfowl in winter so it qualifies A4iii criteria (= 20,000 waterbirds). It also harbours threatened species, so it fits A1 criteria also. As we do not have detailed data on the bird life of this site, we considered the site as Data Deficient.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Other fauna of the site include mammals such as the Golden Langur Trachypithecus geei (Choudhury 2002), Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatta, Wild Boar Sus scrofa, Leopard Panthera pardus, Chinese Pangolin Manis pentadactyla, Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak, and a small herd of Gaur Bos frontalis. Reptiles such as the Elongated Turtle Indotestudo elongata have been recorded on Bhairab Pahar, while various softshell turtles occur in the beels.

Indian Rock Python Python molurus and Monitor Lizard Varanus bengalensis have also been recorded.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
MAIN THREATS: Extensive fishing; Agriculture; Poaching / hunting; Collection of firewood.

Bhairab Pahar is already degraded, although it has an important population of the Golden Langur and of Gaur. The wetlands are being overexploited. Uncontrolled fishing and spread of Water Hyacinth are the major problems for birds. With duly enforced conservation measures, these wetlands could become a paradise for waterfowl. Detailed investigation of bird life is urgently required. Nature awareness campaign should be started in the surrounding villages and schools.

Acknowledgements
Key contributors: Hilloljyoti Singha, Kulojyoti Lahkar and Sadashib Nath Sen.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Tamaranga - Dalani - Bhairab Complex. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/11/2022.