IN383
Gibbon (Hollongapar) Sanctuary


Year of compilation: 2004

Site description
Hollongapar Gibbon Sanctuary is located in Jorhat district of eastern Assam. It has a history of more than a century as a reserved forest, as it was notified on August 27, 1881 as Hollongapar Reserve Forest (Choudhury 1999). This small reserve forest is known for its primate populations and was proposed as a Sanctuary mainly for their conservation (Choudhury 1989). The Sanctuary is 25 km from Jorhat town and 320 km from Guwahati, and well connected by motorable roads. The Sanctuary covers an area of about 2,000 ha of Tropical Semi-evergreen Forest in the basin of the Brahmaputra river. The Sanctuary is known for its populations of Hoolock Gibbon Hylobates hoolock and Stump-tailed Macaque Macaca arctoides.. The first study on gibbons in this forest was carried out by Tilson (1979). Despite the fact that it is a small area, the forest is still intact. The top canopy of the forest has evergreen trees, such as Dipterocarpus macrocarpus, Shorea assamica, Artocarpus chaplasha and Tetrameles sp. The second storey also has mostly evergreens, including Mesua ferrea, Sapium baccatum and Amoora wallichii.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: No work on the bird fauna has been done in this Sanctuary, except for sight records of White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata by Choudhury (2000). This site has been selected as an IBA only on the basis of occurrence of this highly endangered species. However, more globally threatened forest species are likely to occur here. The forest, though small, and partitioned by a railway line and a kutcha road, is still intact. Many forest species are likely to occur here. We consider this as a Data Deficient site because good information on the bird life is lacking.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: The other fauna of the Sanctuary includes Asian Elephant Elephas maximus, Tiger Panthera tigris, Leopard P. pardus, Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis, Sambar Cervus unicolor (no recent sighting), Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak, Wild Boar Sus scrofa, Chinese Porcupine Hystrix brachyura, Chinese Pangolin Manis pentadactyla and Malayan Giant Squirrel Ratufa bicolor. Primates recorded were Slow Loris Nycticebus coucang, Assamese Macaque M. assamensis, Rhesus Macaque M. mulatta, Pig-tailed Macaque M. nemestrina, Stump-tailed Macaque, Capped Langur Trachypithecus pileatus and Hoolock Gibbon (Choudhury 1999).

Indian Rock Python Python molurus and a variety of other snakes are also found.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
MAIN THREATS: Illegal felling; Encroachment; Elephant-human conflict; Poaching.

Hollongapar is an isolated forest patch surrounded by tea plantations and human settlements. Once it was contiguous with the large forest tract that extended to Nagaland. A barrier of tea gardens now separates the nearest forest areas of Disoi and Disoi Valley Reserve Forests. Moreover, the habitat in these forests has been badly degraded due to continuous felling and encroachment. There is conflict with Asian Elephants, as more than a dozen animals are confined in a small area, and their moving about often creates problem for the villagers and tea garden labourers. There were some good forest patches in the tea estates outside the Reserve Forest that used to supplement the habitat requirement of some species, including the Elephants, Rhesus Macaques and Capped Langurs. Now most of these areas have been cleared and planted with tea, which makes them unsuitable for wildlife. Charaching of birds and mammals by poachers from Nagaland and tea garden labourers is also another cause of concern for the wildlife in this IBA. The railway line passing through the forest has created an effective barrier to the movement of the Slow Loris and Hoolock Gibbon. The neighboring tea estates and villages also use the gravel road through the forest that connects Madhupur with Meleng, and this creates disturbance inside the Sanctuary. Thus, regular patrolling along the sanctuary portion of the Mariani - Amguri road, setting up of an anti-poaching camp on the main road, legal acquisition of additional land from the adjacent tea estates, and motivation of the villagers and tea garden labourers are conservation actions that need to be taken up urgently.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Gibbon (Hollongapar) Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/11/2020.