Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary - Tendong Reserve Forest

Country/territory: India

IBA criteria met: A1, A2, A3 (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 3,534 ha

Bombay Natural History Society
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) State (condition) Pressure (threat) Response (action)
2003 not assessed medium not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (2004 baseline)
Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary is located on the Maenam-Tendong ridge which runs north-south bisecting Sikkim longitudinally and is drained by the Tista river to the East and Rangit river in the West. The altitudinal gradient of 2,100 m - 3,300 m provides for a range of microclimates and floral diversity from subtropical forests to stabilized scree slopes. These diverse forest types in turn shelter a wide range of faunal elements. The Sanctuary has tremendous watershed value, being the only source of perennial water on this ridge. The South District headquarters, Namchi, situated 30 km due south totally depends on the water piped from the Burmelly stream originating from within the Sanctuary precincts. The adjoining town of Ravangla also depends on the Sanctuary for potable water. “Maenam-la” translates to the “Treasury of Medicines”, being a rich trove of medicinal plants. There is also a historical Buddhist monastery, the Maenam Gompa, at the top of the ridge. Interestingly, despite the disturbance from nearby urban areas, Maenam harbours a rich bird diversity (Anon. 2001). The entire stretch of forest along Temi-Tarku-Damthang-Tendong- Bhanjyang- Ravangla-Maenam and further north linking with Karjee-Labdang forests of the Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve is virtually contiguous, planted in a few places with the exotic Cryptomeria japonica trees. Tea plantations of the State Government occupy a part of Temi.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: There are several villages fringing this IBA due to which the habitat is open in several places. This open habitat coupled with patches of dense forest provides ideal bird habitats in the IBA. The Hodgson’s Frogmouth Batrachostomus hodgsoni was observed in Pabong area (Ganguli-Lachungpa and Lucksom 1998). The site lies in the Eastern Himalayas Endemic Bird Area (EBA- 130), in which Stattersfield et al. (1998) have listed 21 restricted range species. Eight of these have been seen here (U. Lachungpa pers. comm. 2003). This mid-altitude IBA falls mainly in Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest (Biome-7). BirdLife International (undated) has listed 112 species in this biome, of which 53 are found here. The higher reaches of this IBA, above 3,000 m show some birds of Biome-5 (Eurasian High Montane - Alpine and Tibetan) where 48 species are listed and seven are seen in this site. At lower reaches, Biome-7 merges with Biome-8 (Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forest) where 95 species are listed. Almost half of them (42 species) have been found here. Some areas of this IBA, especially in the valleys also show some faunal elements of Biome-9 (Indo-Chinese Tropical Moist Forest). Four species of this biome are also found here. They are Grey Peacock Pheasant Polyplectron bicalcaratum (unconfirmed), Pale-headed Woodpecker Gecinulus grantia, Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax pectoralis and Sultan Tit Melanochlora sultanea. The list of other biome species is too long to be mentioned here. This IBA has habitat contiguity with the Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve (U. Lachungpa pers. comm. 2003), therefore, both these IBAs together form a large habitat for the bird life of this small state. The site fulfils three IBA criteria: A1 (Threatened Species), A2 (EBA-130: Eastern Himalayas) and A3 (Biomerestricted species).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Fauna includes Red Panda Ailurus fulgens, Leopard Panthera pardus, Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus, Serow Nemorhaedus sumatraensis, Goral Nemorhaedus goral, Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak, Mouse Hare Ochotona roylei, Particoloured Flying Squirrel Hylopetes alboniger, Hoary-bellied Himalayan Squirrel Callosciurus pygerythrus, Orange-bellied Himalayan Squirrel Dremomys lokriah, Yellow-throated Marten Martes flavigula, Assamese Macaque Macaca assamensis and Himalayan Crestless Porcupine Hystrix brachyura.

Key contributors: Usha Lachungpa and Sandeep Tambe.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2024) Important Bird Area factsheet: Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary - Tendong Reserve Forest. Downloaded from on 23/02/2024.