Shikari Devi Wildlife Sanctuary

Country/territory: India

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

Area: 7,200 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 high altitude Sanctuary is named after the goddess Shikari Devi, to whom a temple is dedicated and the place is considered sacred by Hindus. An area of 7,200 ha surrounding the temple was declared a sanctuary in 1962. Nearly 40 villages are present inside the Sanctuary, and many more in the surrounding areas. However, there are still good habitats for wild animals. Even the Snow Leopard Uncia uncia has been reported from this site in winter but it needs confirmation. Owing to great variation in altitude, Shikari Devi Sanctuary has seven forest types, according to the classification by Champion and Seth (1968): Alpine Pasture, Sub-alpine Forest, Moist Temperate Deciduous Forest, West Himalayan Upper Oak/Fir forest, Kharsu Oak Forest, Western Mixed Coniferous Forest, and Ban Oak Forest (Singh et al. 1990). This Sanctuary covers the middle altitudinal range from 1,800 to 3,400 m of the Himalayas, showing transition from pine through oak to alpine meadow (Rodgers and Panwar 1988). Information on percentage of different forest types and their ecological condition is not available. However, there are some good patches of temperate forest that have representative bird fauna of the Western Himalayas.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: Not much information is available about bird life of this site, except that the globally threatened Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichii is found, probably in good numbers. Himalayan or Impeyan Monal Lophophorus impejanus, Koklass Pheasant Pucrasia macrolopha, Kaleej Lophura leucomelana and Western Tragopan Tragopan melanocephalus are also found. The last species needs confirmation from this site. This IBA lies in the Western Himalayas Endemic Bird Area (EBA). It also has biome-restricted species of Eurasian High Montane (Biome-5) and Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest (Biome-7). BirdLife International (undated) has listed 48 species in Biome-5. From the preliminary list that we have, we could find only five species, most of them quite common and of no conservation concern. Similarly, in Biome-7, 112 species are listed but we could find published evidence of only four species. This indicates the paucity of information and not paucity of bird life of this IBA. If more detailed studies are conducted on birds, perhaps more biome and globally threatened species would be found.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Shikari Devi WLS has several high altitude mammals such as Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus and Goral Nemorhaedus goral. There are unconfirmed reports of Snow Leopard. At temperate forest level, Leopard Panthera pardus, Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak, Langur Semnopithecus entellus and Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatta are reported. The Giant Flying Squirrel Petaurista petaurista albiventer, Kashmir Flying Squirrel Hylopetes fimbriatus, Stone Marten Martes foina, and Himalayan Weasel Mustela sibirica are also found here. There is no information on the reptile fauna.

Key contributor: Sanjeeva Pandey.

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