Kais Wildlife Sanctuary

Country/territory: India

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2 (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 1,419 ha

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

Site description
The Kais Wildlife Sanctuary, lies in the Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh. This small (1,419 ha) high altitude sanctuary includes parts of the catchment of the Kais Nala, an important tributary of the River Beas. It was declared mainly to protect the Musk Deer Moschus chrysogaster and pheasants, in 1954 under the then Punjab Wild Birds and Wild Animals Protection Act, 1933. There is a lack of published information on the vegetation of Kais WLS. It is estimated that 1,174 ha of the Sanctuary is forested. Fir Abies pindrow and Spruce Picea smithiana, with some Oak Quercus semecarpifolia, Maple Acer sp., Poplar Populus sp., Walnut Juglans regia and Cedar Cedrus deodara, predominate at lower altitudes, while the alpine zone bears Birch Betula utilis and Rhododendron scrub forest.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: Practically no work has been done on the avifauna of this Sanctuary, although there is some information on the pheasants, for which it is famous. The globally threatened Western Tragopan Tragopan melanocephalus and Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichii are reported to be present (Singh et al. 1990). The more common species include Himalayan Monal Lophophorus impejanus, Kaleej Pheasant Lophura leucomelana and Koklass pheasant Pucrasia macrolopha. The Chukar Partridge Alectoris chukar is also present. This site is designated an IBA based on the presence of two threatened pheasant species. Checklist of the birds of this site is not available so we do not know how many restricted range and biome species are found here. This site is considered as Data Deficient.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Musk Deer is the most famous mammal of this Sanctuary, but its population has declined drastically due to poaching for its musk pod. Brown Bear Ursus arctos is seen in the subalpine and alpine areas, while Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus is found at lower altitudes. Himalayan Tahr Hemitragus jemlahicus, Barking Deer or Indian Muntjak Muntiacus muntjak and Goral Nemorhaedus goral are the major wild ungulates that have to share the limited resources of the area with a large number of domestic animals.

Leopard Panthera pardus is sometimes found very close to villages and settlements in search of easy prey. Not much is known about the lesser carnivores of the Sanctuary.

Key contributor: Sanjeeva Pandey.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kais Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 10/12/2022.