IN459
Mount Harriet National Park


Country/territory: India

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

Area: 5,662 ha

Protection status:

Bombay Natural History Society
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2003 low not assessed not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here


Site description
Mount Harriet National Park is situated in Ferrargunj tehsil of Andaman district, about 38 km from Port Blair. The area of the Park is about 4,662 ha and there is a proposal to extend the area by another 1,700 ha to include the adjacent hill ranges to the south to conserve the marine ecosystem along the eastern coast. The Park possesses hill ranges, which generally lie in the north-south direction. From these, numerous spurs and ridges branch out towards east and west. The hills are steeper on the eastern side. The beaches on the eastern coast are generally rocky, with a few sandy patches. The Park also possesses freshwater streams, originating from the hill ranges and draining into the sea on the east coast. Proximity to the equator and the sea ensures a hot, humid, and uniform climate throughout the year. Fortunately, the forest is largely untouched (Pande et al 1991). Mount Harriett National Park is one of the few pristine areas within the Andaman Archipelago, where almost all the major groups of animals characteristic of tropical rain forests are well represented. The composition of terrestrial fauna of the Park shows greater similarities with that of Myanmar and Indo-China (Chandra and Rajan 2002). The avifauna of the Park is very rich and diverse due to dense forests, the presence of many varieties of wild fruit plants, and open seashore on the eastern side. The area was earlier a Reserve Forest, so some sort of protection was given. Now, having become a National Park, the forest is totally protected. The major forest types in Mt. Harriet National Park include Evergreen Forest, Andaman Tropical Evergreen Forest, Andaman Semi-evergreen Forest, Andaman Moist Deciduous Forest and Littoral Forest. Balachandran (1998) reported 134 plant and tree species, of which 74 are native and 51 introduced. The main tree species are Albizzia lebbeck, A. procera, Dipterocarpus grandiflorus, Ficus glomerata, F. hispida, Lagerstroemia hypoleuca, Lannea spp., Mesua ferrea, Terminalia bialata and T. procera.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: A total of 214 species and subspecies of birds, including 63 endemics have been recorded earlier from Andaman, but in Harriet NP, only 86 species are known to occur. Of these, 48 species and subspecies are endemic to the Andaman group. Chandra and Rajan (1996) have listed 86 species from this site, but their report is somewhat unreliable, as they have referred to many widely distributed migratory species as endemic. For example, they consider Little Bunting Emberiza pusilla as endemic, although it is found in the Himalaya, the northeast India and Bangladesh (Ali and Ripley 1987, Grimmett et al. 1998). The Andaman Crake Rallina canningi was supposed to be common in Mount Harriet NP according to Chandra and Rajan (1996), although they had sightings only from two localites (Vijayan and Sankaran 2000). It is globally Threatened as it has a small population and narrow range of distribution (BirdLife International 2001). The Andaman Hawk Owl Ninox affinis, a Near Threatened species, is also considered common in this IBA by Chandra and Rajan (1996), but Vijayan (1999) found it to be one of the rarest endemics of Andaman Island.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: The mammalian fauna of the Park is represented by 12 species, including the Andaman Wild Pig Sus scrofa andamanensis, Andaman Masked Palm Civet Paguma larvata tytleri, Andaman Rat Rattus rattus andamanensis and Flying Fox Pteropus melanotus.

The Asian Elephant Elephas maximus and Chital Axis axis were introduced by the British and now feral populations are found. The reptilian fauna of the Park is exceptionally rich, and includes mainly lizards and snakes. In all, 28 species have been recorded from the Park, of which 14 are endemic to Andaman and Nicobar Is. The amphibian fauna comprises of 6 species, of which 2 species Andaman Bull Frog Kaloula baleata ghoshi and Andaman Paddyfield Frog Limnonectes andamanensis are endemic to Andaman Is. The freshwater fishes present in the streams within the Park area are represented by 16 species, mainly eels, catfish, gobies, sleepers and snakeheads. The land molluscs are not well studied, and only 6 species have been recorded. Among the invertebrates, insects contribute about 70% of the faunal diversity in the Mt. Harriet National Park. So far, 355 species have been reported, which include 79 endemic species (Chandra and Rajan 2002).


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mount Harriet National Park. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 19/10/2019.