Chainpur and Hanspuri

Country/territory: India

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

Area: 3,700 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
Chainpur and Hanspuri are two small islands of the Andaman Islands group in the Bay of Bengal. The two islands lie in Middle Andaman. Proximity to the equator and the sea ensures a hot, humid, and uniform climate. The Andamans receive rainfall from both the southwest and northeast monsoon. Maximum precipitation is between May and December, the driest period being between January and April (Sankaran 1995). These islands are covered with tropical evergreen forests. The common tree species are Dipterocarpus griffithii, Hopea odorata, Rhizophora apiculata, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Ceriops tagal, Cerebera odollam, Heritiera littoralis, Barringtonia racemosa, Ficus retusa, and Sideroxylon longipetiolatum. Shrub species are Pandanus andamanensium and P. tectorius. Among the climbers, Calamus longisetu and Daemonorops manii are common.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: In the Endemic Bird Area of Andaman Islands (Stattersfield et al. 1998), 13 restricted range species have been listed, of which 9 have been reported from this IBA. The Andaman Crake Rallina canningi, an endemic and Vulnerable species, is also found here, although population figures and status are unknown, as it is highly elusive. The Andaman teal Anas gibberifrons albogularis, which is endemic to the Andaman Islands, is also found here. Vijayan and Sankaran (2000) found 12 Andaman Teals in the wetlands of Hanspuri. The Andaman Teal is not listed as rare by BirdLife International (2001) as it was considered a subspecies of Grey Teal Anas gibberifrons (Ali and Ripley 1987, Grimmett et al. 1998). The Grey Teal is widely distributed in Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and many islands (del Hoyo et al. 1992). Recently, Rasmussen and Anderton (in press) have elevated Andaman Teal to species level as Anas albogularis. If this is accepted, then the Andaman Teal would be one of the rarest ducks in the world, as Vijayan and Sankaran (2000) have estimated that not more than 600 are left in the Andaman Islands. Therefore, the wetlands of Hanspuri have much greater importance than was thought earlier because 2% of the world’s population of this highly endangered and Restricted Range species is found here. Other Restricted Range species include the Andaman Serpent-Eagle Spilornis elgini, Andaman Scops Owl Otus balli, Andaman Hawk-owl Ninox affinis, Andaman Black Woodpecker Dryocopus hodgei, and the Andaman Crake Rallina canningi, which is also globally threatened.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Originally, there were no large wild mammals on these islands. The Wild Pig Sus scrofa andamanensis is supposed to have been introduced by the first human settlers. The Spotted Deer Axis axis and Himalayan Palm Civet Paguma larvata were brought in by the British in more recent times. Flying Fox Pteropus giganteus is perhaps the only indigenous mammal on the islands. Andaman Water Monitor Lizard Varanus salvator andamanensis and Saltwater Crocodile Crocodylus porosus are native to these islands.

Key contributors: Ravi Sankaran and K. Sivakumar.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Chainpur and Hanspuri. Downloaded from on 04/02/2023.