Chushul marshes

Country/territory: India

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

Area: 1,500 ha

Protection status:

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
The Chushul Marshes lie within Changthan, east and west of Chushul village near the Chinese border. The habitats consist of shallow ponds, marshes, borax plains and wet meadows in a broad sandy valley. Springs and streams flowing down into the Valley from the Ladakh range create the ponds and marshes. Some streams terminate on the sandy plains in stagnant pools which become more saline as they evaporate. Others carry enough water to flow into the Pangong Tso. Most of the ponds and marshes remain frozen from November to March. The principal vegetation consists of species of Hydrilla, Myriophyllum in the ponds and Carex, other sedges and grasses in the marshes. The surrounding steppe is dominated by Caragana.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: The wetland is an important breeding area for several species of waterfowl, such as the Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus, Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea, Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus, Common Redshank Tringa totanus and Common Tern Sterna hirundo. Three pairs of Black-necked Crane Grus nigricollis inhabit the Chushul marshes, of which two pairs are consistently breeding at Tsigul Tso and Tso Nyak (Hussain and Pandav 2001; Rauf Zargar pers. comm. 2003). Some pairs of Barheaded Geese Anser indicus also breed here. The Tibetan Sandgrouse Syrrhaptes tibetanus, and Tibetan Partridge Perdix hodgsoniae representing Biome-5 occur on the surrounding dry plains.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: The other important fauna of the site include Tibetan Wild Ass Equus kiang. Tibetan Argali Ovis ammon, Blue Sheep or Bharal Pseudois nayaur and Tibetan Gazelle Procapra picticaudata (Rauf Zargar pers. comm. 2003).

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Chushul marshes. Downloaded from on 14/07/2020.