Year of compilation: 2004
AVIFAUNA: Except for surveys by Choudhury (1996a, 1998) in search of White-winged Duck, not much work has been done on avifauna in this area. This site is extremely rich in birds, especially hornbills, pheasants and other forest birds. Most of the Indian bird species of the Indo-Chinese Tropical Moist Forests (Biome-9) are likely to be found in this IBA, besides species of other biomes (5, 7, 8, and 11) in winter. The important biome bird species are the Grey Peacock Pheasant Polyplectron bicalcaratum, Mountain Bamboopartridge Bambusicola fytchii, Masked Finfoot Heliopais personata, Himalayan Flameback or Golden-backed Woodpecker Dinopium shorii, Blue-throated Barbet Megalaima asiatica, Bay Woodpecker Blythipicus pyrrhotis, Brown Hornbill Anorrhinus tickelli, Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax pectoralis, Himalayan treepie Dendrocitta formosae, White-throated Bulbul Alophoixus flaveolus, Rufous-bellied Niltava Niltava sundara, and Nepal Fulvetta Alcippe nipalenis. Detailed investigation on the bird life is required. Presently, we do not have information on the Restricted Range species, if any, found here. Similarly, information on biome-restricted assemblages is lacking. As the forest is largely intact, this site is extremely important for the protection of many forests birds.
OTHER KEY FAUNA: Tirap-Burhidihing IBA is rich in mammalian fauna. Seven species of primates are found there: Hoolock Gibbon Hylobates hoolock, Capped Langur Trachypithecus pileatus, Pigtailed Macaque Macaca nemestrina, Stump-tailed macaque M. arctoides, Rhesus Macaque M. mulatta, Assamese Macaque M. assamensis and Slow Loris Nycticebus coucang (Choudhury 1996b). The site is known for its large herds of Asian Elephant Elephas maximus. Major carnivores are Tiger Panthera tigris, Leopard P. pardus and Wild Dog Cuon alpinus. Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus is also reported.
Malayan Giant Squirrel Ratufa bicolor and Common Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista petaurista live in the closed canopy forest areas.
Sambar Cervus unicolor and Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak, as well as Gaur Bos frontalis are the major herbivores.
The reptiles and amphibians found in this IBA are not well recorded.
Encroachment has been a major issue in Kotha and Namphai areas. Most of the former forest is already under the plough. Fishing in the jungle pools that are habitats of the endangered White-winged Duck, and illegal felling are the other main issues. There is open cast coal mining just outside the site, which is a major environmental issue for this part of Assam. Namphai Reserve Forest was recommended as a sanctuary (Choudhury 1996a) but the issue is still pending with the government. The lowland tropical rain forest has mostly disappeared from Assam (and other parts of India), therefore, protection of this site is crucial, not only for threatened birds but also for many mammals and reptiles included in the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Tirap - Burhidihing. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 17/08/2022.