IN372
Bordoibam-Bilmukh Bird Sanctuary


Year of compilation: 2004

Site description
Bordoibam-Bilmukh is a large freshwater lake that was created during the great earthquake of 1950. It was part of the River Subansiri, which now flows 7 km away from the lake. The Sanctuary is 50 km from Lakhimpur, the district headquarters, and 455 km from Guwahati. A large number of migratory waterfowl are seen in winter while some globally threatened species such as the Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis and Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus are seen all over the year. The wetland is fringed by tall emergent vegetation, mainly Arundo donax, where the Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis was not uncommon some years ago. However, the grassland has been destroyed by villagers, so this bird is now rarely seen. The typical aquatic, floating and emergent vegetation of wetlands is seen in this wetland also. In the drying and dried up part, Arundo donax dominates along with sedges. A few Barringtonia acutangula trees are found on the fringes.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: More than 165 bird species have been recorded (Phukan et al. 1997). Besides the Lesser Adjutant, there are some records of Greater Adjutant Leptoptilos dubius. Pallas’s Fish-Eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus is another globally threatened species seen here. It is of great conservation concern, as this large raptor requires undisturbed wetlands. The Bordiobam wetland is known as a breeding ground of the Large Whistling Duck Dendrocygna bicolor, Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio, Bronze-winged Jacana Metopidius indicus, White-breasted Waterhen Amaurornis phoenicurus and Watercock Gallicrex cinerea (Talukdar 1993). Although this IBA does not support more than 20,000 birds (A4iii criteria), it has great potential as a major waterfowl sanctuary of Assam. It has been selected on the basis of the endangered species found here.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Other important fauna of the site include the Fishing Cat Prionailurus viverrina, and Hog deer Axis porcinus. The latter has become very rare due to the destruction of its grassland habitat. Some Smooth Indian Otters Lutrogale perspicillata still survive.

Not much work has been done on amphibians and reptiles, although Hoplobatrachus tigerinus, Bufo melanostictus, and Rhacophorus spp. have also been recorded.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
MAIN THREATS: Heavy siltation; Agriculture; Fishing; Poaching of birds; Livestock grazing; Aquatic weeds.

The Forest Department of Assam has submitted a proposal to make this wetland a bird sanctuary. Presently, the wetland is controlled by the Revenue Department and fishing lease is granted annually (Choudhury 1990; Talukdar 1993). The disturbance caused by fishermen is tremendous and scares away the migratory birds. There are three villages on the fringe. Some villagers oppose the creation of the sanctuary, although the majority of them are supportive or neutral. Fishing, collection of grass and reeds, and poaching are the major problems.

Acknowledgements
Key contributors: Anwaruddin Choudhury, Bikul Goswami, Megamix Nature Club.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Bordoibam-Bilmukh Bird Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/09/2021.