Rupi Bhaba Wildlife Sanctuary

Country/territory: India

IBA Criteria met: A1, A2, A3 (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 26,900 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
This Sanctuary has a wide variation in altitudes, and supports a large diversity of habitats and wildlife. It lies in the catchment area of the Sutlej river and is irrigated by many small streams. The northern portion is covered with glaciers. The Great Himalayan National Park and the Pin Valley National Park are located on its western and northern boundaries respectively. Thus, it forms a large protected area complex, extremely important for alpine, subalpine and broadleaf forest birds. The nearest town is Rampur- Bushahr, about 40 km away. Despite its large size and remoteness from human habitation, this Sanctuary is facing many biotic pressures, such as hydroelectric power generation schemes. Based on the classification of Champion and Seth (1968), there are five forest types in this IBA: Alpine Pastures, Dry Temperate Coniferous Forests, Dry Broadleaf and Coniferous Forests, Kharsu Oak Forest, and Lower Western Himalayan Temperate Forest. The Forest Department has undertaken many plantation schemes for commercial timber and for the fuelwood requirement of the local people. Besides indigenous species, they have also planted exotics such as Poplar Salix and Robinia Robinia pseudacacia.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: No work has been done on the avifauna of this important protected area of the Western Himalayas. Singh et al. (1990) have provided a preliminary list of 27 bird species recorded in the Sanctuary. It is an important habitat for the globally threatened Western Tragopan Tragopan melanocephalus and Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichii. Besides these two pheasants, which are restricted to the Western Himalayas, three more Restricted Range species have been identified. However, population density and abundance of any species are not known. Based on the preliminary listing, nine species of Biome-7 and four from Biome-8 have been identified. This list should be considered as only indicative, till more studies are conducted in this IBA. At present, we consider the site as Data Deficient.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: This vast sprawling Sanctuary is home to almost all the mammal species of the alpine, sub-alpine and temperate forests of the Western Himalayas. Snow leopard Uncia uncia haunts the cold desert and alpine tracts in search of Blue Sheep Pseudois nayaur, Musk Deer Moschus chrysogaster, Himalayan Tahr Hemitragus jemlahicus and Himalayan Ibex Capra sibirica. At lower elevations, it is replaced by the common Leopard Panthera pardus which hunts Barking deer Muntiacus muntjak, Goral Nemorhaedus goral and Serow Nemorhaedus sumatrensis. The Brown Bear Ursus arctos and Asiatic Black Bear U. thibetanus are found in the altitudinal range of 1,600 to 4,000 m. There are also many smaller mammals recorded.

Key contributor: Sanjeeva Pandey.

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