Magu Thingbu

Country/territory: India

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

Area: 82,000 ha

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description (baseline)
Mago Thingbu is a high altitude area with characteristic forest types such as Mixed Broadleaf in the lower reaches to Temperate Coniferous Forest in the higher reaches. Most of the area remains permanently covered with snow; the international borders with China to the north and Bhutan to the west demarcate the area. There are large pure stands of Juniper forest, and some high altitude lakes, so winter nesting for birds is possible. There is very little information on the area.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: Notable is the Wood Snipe Gallinago nemoricola, of which one was collected and many seen in the hills west of Mago, at 4,250 m in 1934 (Ludlow and Kinnear 1937). The present status of this globally threatened species is not known.

According to A. U. Choudhury (pers. comm. 2003), the endangered White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata is likely to occur at the lower reaches, while Sclater’s Monal Lophophorus sclateri would be present above 3,000 m. Extensive tracts of Subtropical Dry Evergreen and Broadleaf Hill Forest still exist in this IBA, that are extremely important for Vulnerable species such as Pale-capped Pigeon Columba punicea, Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa and Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis. Perhaps, significant populations of these species are found here (Dey 2003). Among the Near Threatened species, only Blue-naped Pitta Pitta nipalensis has been identified till now, but more bird species of this category are likely to be present.

The site lies in Eastern Himalaya Endemic Bird Area (EBA 130) in which Stattersfield et al. (1998) have listed 21 species as Restricted Range. Three species are known to occur at this site.

This site also has two biomes: Biome-7 (Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest) and Biome-5 (Eurasian High Montane- Alpine and Tibetan), according to the classification of BirdLife International (undated). Only three species of Biome-5 have been seen, out of the 48 listed by BirdLife International. There is a long list of 112 species of Biome-7 but only nine bird species could be identified till now. This is more due to lack of proper detailed study than due to paucity of birds.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: No information.

Key contributor: B. B. Bhatt.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Magu Thingbu. Downloaded from on 01/06/2023.