Dzuku Valley

Country/territory: India

IBA criteria met: A1, A2 (2004)
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Area: 2,500 ha

Bombay Natural History Society
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) Threat (pressure) Condition (state) Action (response)
2003 medium not assessed not assessed
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Site description (baseline)
The Dzuku Valley with its surrounding hill ranges is one of the biodiversity-rich ecosystems in the northeast region of India. Dzuku valley is an attractive, naturally beautiful area on the border of Nagaland and Manipur, where the Dzuku, a tributary of the Barak river, flows through. The hills are uniformly covered with short and tall bamboo, grasses and other flora. Some of the hillocks have Broadleaf Temperate Forest, providing habitat for Blyth’s Tragopan Tragopan blythii and other birds of tropical forests. Dzuku is famous for the Dzuku Lily Lilium chitrangadae, endemic to the Dzuku Valley. The valley receives tremendous numbers of local tourists during the flowering seasons. The name is derived from the Mao Pukmai language. Dzu means cold or frozen and ku means water. Hence, it is literally called frozen water. During winter, the slow moving river is covered with a thin layer of ice (Ranjan Singh 1995). The Dzuku Valley enjoys a cold temperate climate with a severe winter, and heavy rainfall during the monsoon (Ranjan Singh 1995). Dzuku is contiguous with two other IBAs of Nagaland, Khonoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary, and Pulie Badze- Japfu-Dzuku. Together they constitute about 20,000 ha of Subtropical Forest. The Tenipu peak (Mt. Iso) rises about 2,990 m and is the highest peak in Manipur.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: Detailed information on the avifaunal diversity of this site is not available. The site however supports a good population of Blyth’s Tragopan Tragopan blythii that occurs in the subtropical and temperate broadleaf forests. The villagers have shown interest in protecting Blyth’s Tragopan (F. Ahmed pers. comm. 2003). A small breeding colony of the Dark-rumped or Khasi Hills Swift Apus acuticauda has been discovered in Khonoma-Dzukou of Nagaland (Ahmed et al. 2003). Hence, this species could be occurring in Dzuku area of Manipur. A thorough investigation is required. On the southern slopes of Barail range, there are records of Mrs. Hume’s Pheasant Syrmaticus humiae (Choudhury 2002). However, it has become very rare in the area, and may disappear unless urgent measures are taken for its protection. Dzuko IBA is included in the Eastern Himalayas Endemic Bird Area (EBA). This is one of the bird rich areas of India, with a total of 21 restricted range species. Most parts of this IBA have Sino- Himalayan Subtropical Forest (Biome-8), with only a small portion having Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest (Biome-7). A total of 207 biome species has been listed by BirdLife International (undated). Detailed studies are required to find out how many of these biome species are found in this IBA. The Biome species recorded from nearby Kohoma Nature Conservation and Tragopan Sanctuary, which are likely to occur here are: Rufous-breasted Accentor Prunella strophiata, Stripethroated Yuhina Yuhina gularis, Rufous-bellied Niltava Niltava sundara, Mountain Bamboo Partridge Bambusicola fytchii, Blue-throated Barbet Megalaima asiatica, Mountain Bulbul Hypsipetes mcclellandii, Maroon Oriole Oriolus traillii, Small Minivet Pericrocotus cinnamomeus, and Fire-tailed Sunbird Aethopyga ignicauda.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Like most forests of Manipur, hunting was rampant till a few years ago, so sighting of animals was rare, but after the villagers decided to stop hunting, the wildlife is recovering. Some of the species found here are Leopard Panthera pardus, Clouded leopard Neofelis nebulosa, Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus, Capped Langur Trachypithecus pileatus, Stump-tailed Macaque Macaca arctoides and Serow Nemorhaedus sumatraensis. The reptile and amphibian fauna appears to be very rich, but no work has been done on it (A. U. Choudhury pers. comm. 2003).

Key contributors: W. Rajesh Singh, Salam Rajesh, R. K. Ranjan Singh, Anwaruddin Choudhury and M. Firoz Ahmed.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Dzuku Valley. Downloaded from on 02/06/2023.