Barangtang - Rafters Creek

Country/territory: India

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

Area: 19,000 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
Baratang-Rafters Creek is located in the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. The habitat types of this IBA include Lowland Evergreen Rain forest, Semi-Evergreen Rain forest and Mangrove forest. The islands experience humid, tropical coastal climate. Rainfall is received from both the southwest and the northeast monsoon. Baratang Island lies between the Middle and South Andaman Islands. Baratang has been selectively logged and some areas clear felled since the early 20th century (Yoganand and Davidar 2000). Based on the classification of Champion and Seth (1968), the forest types of the site are: Evergreen forest of Dipterocarpus, Canarium manii, Artocarpus and Pongamia pinnata; Semievergreen forest confined to valleys and slopes containing both semi-evergreen and deciduous trees; Deciduous forest of lower stature growing on hills and in drier areas (Yoganand and Davidar 2000). The island is fringed by mangroves, some growing to tree forms. Despite the removal of commercially exploitable trees, the bird life is more or less intact.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: The bird life of this IBA appears to be very rich. All the Restricted Range species of Andaman Islands (except for the Narcondam Hornbill Aceros narcondami) are reported from this site. Among the globally threatened species Andaman Crake Rallina canningi is present. Not much is known about this bird and it is probably not as rare as generally thought (Vijayan and Sankaran 2000). Further surveys of this species are required in Baratang-Rafter and other suitable areas. The Andaman Teal Anas gibberifrons albogularis, a subspecies of Grey Teal, is endemic to the Andaman Islands. Although A. gibberifrons is not considered rare by BirdLife International (2001), as it is widely distributed, the subspecies albogularis or Andaman Teal is certainly an uncommon bird. Vijayan and Sankaran (2000) estimate that not more than 600 are left in the world. Rasmussen and Anderton (in press) have considered Andaman Teal Anas albogularis as a full-fledged species. Like the Andaman Teal, there are many other subspecies of birds that are restricted to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Some species are represented on different islands by different subspecies. Cytotaxonomic studies indicate that some could be considered as full species (Rasmussen and Anderton in press). For instance, the subspecies of Pompadour Green Pigeon Treron pompadora found in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, i.e. chloropterus, has been upgraded to species level (Rasmussen and Anderton in press). So it has to be included in the Restricted Range species, as described by Stattersfield et al. (1998).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Due to the inaccessibility of these islands there is very little literature on the flora and fauna of this site. Saltwater Crocodile Crocodylus porosus is still common in the creeks and rivulets. Wild Pig Sus scrofa andamanensis and Andaman Water Monitor Lizard Varanus salvator andamanensis are the main native terrestrial animals.

Key contributor: Ravi Sankaran.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Barangtang - Rafters Creek. Downloaded from on 04/02/2023.