Govind National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, Sandra, Kotinad and Singtur ranges (Tons forest division)

Country/territory: India

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

Area: 95,308 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
Govind National Park (47,208) lies in Uttarkashi district, about 225 km north of Dehra Dun, the state capital, and comprises the whole of Supin Range in the Tons Forest Division. It is bound to the north by the interstate boundary with Himachal Pradesh, to the east by a chain of mountain peaks and to the south by the Tons-Yamuna watershed. Two major rivers Rupin and Supin flow through the Sanctuary, and meet at Naitwar to form the Tons river. Govind Wildlife Sanctuary (GWS) and National Park is an area of lush forests, breathtaking scenery and high faunal diversity. The National Park (47,208 ha) and Sanctuary (48,100 ha) together spread over an area of 95,308 ha, form the upper catchment of the Tons river that is the most important tributary of the Yamuna in its upper reaches. The adjacent Kulni and Balcha Reserve Forests have good temperate vegetation and are notable for Deodar Cedrus deodara. These Reserve Forests have suitable habitat for the Vulnerable Western Tragopan Tragopan Melanocephalus (Prasad 1993). Sandra, Kotigad and Singtur ranges are contiguous with the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary (GWS). Kotigad and Sandra ranges are located to the west of the GWS, north of the Tons river. Kotigad meets the protected area at a high altitude ridge called the Changshil Dhar, which also demarcates the interstate border of Uttaranchal and Himachal Pradesh. Sandra range lies between the Kotigad range and the Tons, with its eastern boundary touching the GWS. The Taramandal and Cheenwa blocks of Kotigad range and the Kulni and Balcha blocks of Sandra range are of special value for biodiversity conservation, as they bear temperate mixed, subalpine and alpine vegetation. The rest of these ranges are covered primarily with sub-tropical Chir Pine forests. Singtur range borders the GWS on the west and south of the Tons river. The forests of this range, which have great importance for biodiversity conservation, are the upper temperate forests of Kedarkanta, an important peak on the southwestern boundary of the GWS. The Taramandal block of Kotigad range is supposed to have a small population of Blue Sheep or Bharal Pseudois nayaur (Samant 1995), which could be its southernmost population with respect to the Himalayan axis. The forests in the IBA are dominated by Chir Pine Pinus roxburghii, Deodar, Oak Quercus spp. and other broadleaf species up to about 2,600 m, above which Blue pine Pinus wallichiiana, Silver fir Abies pindrow, Spruce Picea smithiana, Yew Taxus baccata, and other species such as oaks Quercus sp, Maples Acer, Walnut Juglans regia, Hazel Corylus jacquemontii and Rhododendron Rhododendron sp. are predominant (Anon. 1986).

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: Rashid Raza (pers. comm. 2003) of the Wildlife Institute of India has identified 102 species of birds based on preliminary investigation. Judging by the altitude and habitat type there could be more than 200 species. Among birds, Cheer Pheasant Catreus wallichii and Western Tragopan, globally threatened species are found here (Bland, 1987). The site harbours representative bird species of Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest (Biome-7) and Eurasian High Montane – Alpine Forest (Biome-5). Detailed studies on the bird life of this important site have not been done. Sathyakumar (in press) conducted surveys for large mammals and galliforms in 1992 in Govind Pashu Vihar and reported six species of galliforms: Kaleej Lophura leucomelanos, Himalayan Monal Lophophorus impejanus, Koklass Pheasant Pucrasia macrolopha, Chukor Alectoris chukar, Black Francolin Francolinus francolinus and Common Hill Partridge Arborophila torqueola. Encounter rates (number/km) for Himalayan Monal ranged from 0.14 to 0.92, for Koklass 0.4 and for Kaleej, 1.6.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: The large mammal fauna is diverse and includes Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus, Brown Bear U. arctos, Leopard Panthera pardus, Snow Leopard Uncia uncia, Musk Deer Moschus chrysogarter, Barking Deer or Indian Muntjak Muntiacus muntjak, Sambar Cervus unicolor, Goral Nemorhaedus goral, Serow N. sumatraensis, Himalayan Tahr Hemitragus jemlahicus and Blue Sheep, as well as Wild Boar Sus scrofa (Anon. 1986, Fox et al. 1986).

Key contributors: Dhananjai Mohan, Rashid H. Raza and S. Sathyakumar.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Govind National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, Sandra, Kotinad and Singtur ranges (Tons forest division). Downloaded from on 10/12/2022.