IBA criteria met: A1, A2 (2004)
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Area: 250,000 ha
Site description (baseline)
This large IBA covers the forests and snow-covered peaks of the Great Himalaya in the northern part of Arunachal Pradesh. It is also the easternmost limit of the Great Himalaya in India, and adjoins Namcha Barwa peak of Tibet. The site covers Mechuka, Monigong, Tato and Jorgging, extending to the Siang river near Tuting and Gelling near its 'great bend' where the river enters India. This IBA is a source of many tributaries of the Siang river, including the Siyom. The area is entirely mountainous with a valley at Mechuka, which is excluded from the IBA, as it is inhabited. The vegetation type ranges from Subtropical Broadleaf and Sub-tropical Pine forest on the lower slopes and river gorges, to Sub-alpine forest in the higher reaches. The tops and ridges of the Great Himalaya are covered with subalpine and alpine scrub, while the peaks are barren, and snow-capped for the greater part of the year (Choudhury 2003a). A large part of this IBA is inaccessible, thus ensuring the existence of pristine wilderness to a great extent. This IBA has a long border with Tibet (China). Very few surveys were done in the area. Tuting was also visited by Dr. Sálim Ali (Gee 1964). Singh (1994) made mention of Migging-Pango-Tuting track, while there was a survey for tragopans in Monigong (Dipankar Ghose pers. comm. 2002). A rapid survey under IBCN was carried out in Mechuka-Tato in November 2002 (Choudhury 2003a).
AVIFAUNA: At least 110 bird species have been listed but it is apparent that there may be more than 250. This large IBA with difficult terrain needs many surveys for a full assessment of its rich bird life. So far, the presence of five Vulnerable species has been confirmed. Blyth's Tragopan Tragopan blythii and Sclater's Monal Lophophorus sclateri occurs widely, the Rufous-necked Hornbill Aceros nipalensis has been recorded only below Tato. The Beautiful Nuthatch Sitta formosa was sighted near Mechuka while an Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca was spotted between Tuting and Gelling. The Red-breasted Hill-Partridge Arborophila mandellii was reported but needs confirmation (A. U. Choudhury pers. comm. 2003).
Although only four Restricted Range species were recorded during brief surveys, more species are likely to occur. Among the noteworthy species recorded were Temminck's Tragopan Tragopan temminckii and Upland Buzzard Buteo hemilasius in Mechuka, Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos between Tuting and Gelling, and a species new to India, the Blue-and-White Flycatcher Cynoptila cyanomelana (Choudhury 2003b).
The site lies in the Eastern Himalayas Endemic Bird Area (EBA 130) (Stattersfield et al. 1998). Out of the 21 species listed in this EBA, two have been seen in this IBA but there are chances that more species are found here.
Thanks to its altitudinal variation from 1,300 to 5,000 m, three biomes are found in this IBA: Biome 5: Eurasian High Montane; Biome 7: Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest; and Biome 8: Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forest.
OTHER KEY FAUNA: Among the major mammals are the Snow Leopard Uncia uncia, Tiger Panthera tigris, Leopard P. pardus, Clouded leopard Neofelis nebulosa, Asiatic Black Bear Ursus thibetanus, Red Panda Ailurus fulgens, Musk Deer Moschus chrysogaster and Takin Budorcas taxicolor (Choudhury 2003c).
Key contributors: Anwaruddin Choudhury, Bikul Goswami, Hakim and Tape Mosing.
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Mechuka - Monigong - Jorgging. Downloaded from http://datazone.birdlife.org/site/factsheet/18047 on 09/06/2023.