Year of compilation: 2004
AVIFAUNA: Not much work has been done on the bird fauna of Kugti WLS. Gaston et al. (1981a) have recorded 117 species in the Ravi Valley from Dalhousie and Chamba upwards. Three species of pheasants are found at different levels: Himalayan Monal Lophophurus impejanus is reported to be common (S. Sathyakumar pers. comm. 2003), Koklass Pucrasia macrolopha is also numerous and Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichii has been recorded on the north side of Budhil Nala, but not within the sanctuary itself (Gaston et al. 1981a, 1981b). Sondhi (unpublished tour report) during his survey in June 1997, recorded 40 species, including many species of the Sino- Himalayan Temperate Forest (Biome-7), and some of Eurasian High Montane (Alpine and Tibetan) (Biome-5) and Sino- Himalayan Subtropical forests (Biome-8). Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forest biome species includes Slatyheaded Parakeet Psittacula himalayana. Kugti WLS will come in the Western Himalayas Endemic Bird Area (EBA). This large EBA, ranging in altitude from 1,500 m to 2,600 m, and in an area of about 130,000 sq. km in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal has many globally threatened and restricted range species. In India, there are 11 Restricted Range species. Looking at the undisturbed habitat available in this IBA, some restricted range species would have considerable percentage of their overall numbers in this IBA alone. More research is required to study abundance and density of different bird species. We consider this site as Data Deficient.
OTHER KEY FAUNA: The information on other fauna is also meagre, except for the work by Gaston et al. (1981a, 1983) which records: Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus, Brown Bear Ursus arctos, Musk Deer Moschus chrysogaster, Goral Nemorhaedus goral¸ Serow Nemorhaedus sumatraensis, Ibex Capra sibirica and Himalayan Tahr Hemitragus jemlahicus. Kugti is one of the best protected areas in Himachal Pradesh for Brown Bear (S. Sathyakumar pers. comm. 2003). Other mammals listed by Singh et al. (1990) include the Leopard Panthera pardus, Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis, Common Langur Semnopithecus entellus and Yellow-throated Marten Martes flavigula.
There are two villages and 10 settlements inside the Sanctuary, and nine villages in the surrounding areas. The inhabitants hold rights to fodder, fuelwood, cultivation, burial grounds and religious activities. These activities till now did not have a major impact on the ecosystem, but increasing population pressures, of both humans and livestock, are now having a negative impact. Hydel projects and transmission lines have permanently modified the landscape, and resulted in soil erosion. The so-called natural disasters such as avalanches are becoming common linked as they are to changes in the topography.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Kugti Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 05/02/2023.