IN119
Lagga - Bagga Reserve Forest


Year of compilation: 2004

Site description
Lagga-Bagga is located on the Indo-Nepal border, adjoining the famous Sukla Phanta Wildlife Sanctuary of Nepal on the northeast side. To the south and southeast, Sharda river flows in a loop around it. The forest and grasslands of Lagga-Bagga form a continuous stretch with Sukla Phanta, except for a small trench demarcating the international border. Sukla Phanta has a good population of Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis (Inskipp and Inskipp 1985). It also holds very good populations of Swamp Deer Cervus duvauceli, Hog Deer Axis porcinus, Spotted Deer Axis axis and Tiger Panthera tigris. There is regular movement of large mammals between Lagga-Bagga and Sukla-Phanta (Rahmani et al. 1987, Rahmani 1989). Rahmani and Islam (2000) analysed Indian grasslands and prioritized them on the basis of biological, socio-economic, cultural and social values, administrative importance, geographical and habitat representations. The grasslands of Lagga-Bagga were given Priority No. II. Priority No. I grasslands belong to Dudhwa, Katerniaghat and Kishanpur (all IBAs). Like in Dudwa, the grassland of Lagga-Bagga is dominated by Saccharum, Themeda and Apluda mutica.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: Being a sort of corridor between Sukla Phanta and North Pilibhit forests, Lagga-Bagga, although it is only 11 sq km, is extremely important. It has three main grasslands or Chanders which harbour Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis. Between 1985 and 1991, three surveys were conducted to search the Bengal Florican (Rahmani et al. 1987,) but none could be located. However, in April 2002, Prakash Rao (pers. comm. 2002) saw an adult male, thus proving a long-held view that Lagga-Bagga is a potential habitat for this endangered species. More regular and detailed surveys are required to find out whether the florican permanently occupies this site.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Important large mammals include Swamp Deer Cervus duvauceli, Hog Deer Axis percinus, Spotted Deer or Cheetal Axis axis and Tiger Panthera tigris. Pellets similar to those of Hispid Hare Caprolagus hispidus were seen during 1991 (A. R. Rahmani, unpublished).

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
MAIN THREATS: Grazing; Firewood collection; Poaching across Nepal border; Forest fire.

As Lagga-Bagga remains flooded for many months, permanent agriculture is not possible, but the threat of encroachment, backed by political support, is always present. The State Forest Department had planted exotic trees in all the grasslands, but fortunately many have died out (due to flooding). There is a proposal to declare North Pilibhit Reserve Forest as a protected area (A. J. T. Johnsingh, pers. comm. 2003). Lagga-Bagga, as a corridor, would play a crucial role in the movement of animals between North Pilibhit and Sukla Phanta of Nepal.

Acknowledgements
Key contributor: Asad R. Rahmani.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Lagga - Bagga Reserve Forest. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 26/06/2022.