D’Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary lies on the border area of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh in the flood plain between the Rivers Siang and Sibya. It is located c. 16 km southeast of Pashighat town. About 80% of the Sanctuary is covered with grassland, and the rest is riverine forest patches with mixed bamboo and secondary forests. Streams and channels intersect the whole Sanctuary. There are small to medium waterbodies in the Sanctuary that provide good nesting sites for birds. The area is generally rich in grassland birds. Divided into three managerial ranges, Anchalghat, Sibiamukh and Barghuli, the Sanctuary has Semi-evergreen Forests, fast flowing river channels and river islands, marshes and extensive grasslands (Barman 1996). The main grass species are Saccharum spontaneum, S. arundinaceum, Neyraudia rennaudiana and sedges such as Cyperus sp., Terminalia myriocarpa, Dillenia indica, Bombax ceiba, Lagerstroemia speciosa and Albizzia are the common trees (Barman 1996).
AVIFAUNA: More than 150 species of birds have been recorded, with several migratory species (B. B. Bhatt pers. comm. 2002), while Barman (1996) has seen 113 species. This IBA is one of the most important grassland habitats of the Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis. While Rahmani et al. (1990) estimated a population of 20 birds, Choudhury (2002b) estimated 18-20 floricans. Near Bomjir, in Dibang RF, which adjoins D’Ering, three floricans, one male and two females, were observed near a buffalo camp on 8 March 8, 1993 and a study carried out in this complex revealed an estimated population of 36-45 Bengal floricans in the area (Choudhury 1996). The estimated population in the area was 18-22 in Dibang Reserve Forest, and 18-22 in D’Ering Wildlife Sanctuary. However, due to rampant poaching, the population has declined to about 20-25 birds (G. Narayan in litt. 2003).
The White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata is found in small numbers. Accurate estimates of the population are difficult (Choudhury 2002a).
Jerdon’s Babbler Chrysomma altirostre is a globally threatened species confined to the tall, wet grasslands of the terai and the Brahmaputra floodplains. This IBA is an important site as the extreme northeastern range of the Jerdon’s Babbler. Ali and Ripley (1983) have called this subspecies Hume’s Babbler.
Owing to the presence of extensive wet grasslands in this IBA, the population of the Swamp Francolin Francolinus gularis is quite good (Singh 1995).
Numerous channels formed by the River Siang constitute the main waterfowl habitat. These lotic wetlands attract thousands of waterfowl, mostly ducks. Barman (1996) has listed 14 species of Anatidae. However, due to the swampy nature of the terrain, movement is extremely restricted, so a correct estimation of numbers is extremely difficult. Possibly, more than 20,000 waterfowl visit these wetlands and channels in a year.
OTHER KEY FAUNA: This IBA serves as a corridor for migration of the Asian Elephant Elephas maximus. Tiger Panthera tigris is the major carnivore. Wild Boar Sus scrofa, Hog deer Axis porcinus and Barking deer or Muntjak Muntiacus muntjak are found here.
Key contributors: Anwaruddin Choudhury, M. Firoz Ahmed, G. Narayan and Kulojyoti Lakhar.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: D'Ering Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 25/06/2022.