Nameri National Park

Site description (2004 baseline):

Site location and context
Located in the district of Sonitpur, 40 km from Tezpur town in northern Assam, Nameri National Park is also a tiger reserve under Project Tiger. This Park is on the interstate border with Arunachal Pradesh. Relatively better known among the new protected areas of Assam, Nameri was earlier part of Naduar Reserve Forest. The river Jia-Bhareli with its tributaries, the Nameri, Upper Dikorai and Bor Dikorai flow through the Park. The Park is beautiful, with snow-capped Himalayan peaks visible on clear winter days. Nameri is home to a number of globally threatened birds and mammals. For the Endangered White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata, the Park has now the only noteworthy population on the north bank of the Brahmaputra (Choudhury 2000a, 2000b). An added advantage is the presence of Pakke (Pakhui) Wildlife Sanctuary across the border in Arunachal Pradesh, which is about 86,200 ha. For many species, they form a contiguous large wilderness. The terrain in Nameri is gently sloping plain, typical of bhabar and terai. Towards the north, small hilly promontories of the Arunachal Himalaya are seen. Most of Nameri is forested and grassland is found along the rivers. There are a number of pools within the jungle. Nameri National Park can be classified into 8 distinct vegetation types: Moist Evergreen, Moist Semi-evergreen, Deciduous Forest, grassland, scrubland, mixed forests, degraded forests, riverine forest and cultivated land. Moist Semi-evergreen Forest covers about 16,000 ha, followed by grasslands (1,570 ha). The evergreen forest is dominated by Duabanga grandiflora, Mesua ferea and species of Tetrameles, Eugenia and Terminalia.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: Nameri is very rich in avifauna. Till now 363 species of birds have been identified (Saikia and Kakati 1999). Perhaps the most secure population of White-winged Duck is found here (Das 1995), along with 11 threatened species and biome species such as the Crow-billed Drongo Dicrurus annectans, Black-backed Forktail Enicurus immaculatus, Sultan Tit Melanochlora sultanea, Lesser Necklaced Laughingthrush Garrulax moniliger, Greater Necklaced Laughingthrush G. pectoralis, Rufous-necked Laughingthrush G. ruficollis, Grey Peacock Pheasant Polyplectron bicalcaratum and Himalayan Flameblack Dinopium shorii. Masked Finfoot Heliopais personata is also reported here, although not many have seen this shy bird. White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata, one of the endangered species is found in Nameri and the site additionally qualifies congregatory criterion of A4i by holding 1% of its biogeographic population. In 1997, six birds were recorded (Zafar-ul Islam pers. comm. 2003), the 1% threshold being five individuals. In the winter, Ibisbill Ibidorhyncha struthersii is regularly seen on the river bank and Hodgson’s Bushchat Saxicola insignis is found in the tall grassland near rivers and streams. Nameri is also good for forest raptors. Talukdar and Das (1997) have identified 16 species of raptors, some of them Near Threatened. Nameri river is famous for its large numbers of Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo and pratincoles. Talukdar (1997) has reported up to 500 Great Cormorants. Besides the Biome-9 species in Nameri, we also found species identified for Biome-7 (Sino-Himalayan Temperate Forest) such as Darjeeling Woodpecker Dendrocopos darjellensis, Slaty Blue Flycatcher Ficedula tricolor, White-throated Redstart Phoenicurus schisticeps, Nepal House Martin Delichon nipalensis, Aberrant Bush Warbler Cettia flavolivacea, White-throated Laughingthrush Garrulax albogularis, Bar-throated Minla Minla strigula, Yellowbellied Flowerpecker Dicaeum melanoxanthum. The main species of Sino-Himalayan Subtropical Forest (Biome-8) avifauna are Stripe-breasted Woodpecker Dendrocopos atratus, Golden-throated Barbet Megalaima franklinii, Asian Emerald Cuckoo Chrysococcyx maculatus, Orange-bellied Leafbird Chloropsis hardwickii, Grey Treepie Dendrocitta formosae, Maroon Oriole Oriolus traillii, Black-winged Cuckoo Shrike Coracina melaschistos, Rosy Minivet Pericrocotus roseus, Short-billed Minivet P. brevirostris, Small Niltava Niltava macgrigoriae, Slaty-backed Forktail Enicurus schistaceus, Green Cochoa Cochoa viridis, Black Bulbul Hysipetes leucocephalus, White-throated Bulbul Alophoixus flaveolus, Slaty-bellied Tesia Tesia olivea, Black-chinned Yuhina Yuhina nigrimenta, Blackthroated Sunbird Aethopyga saturata, Streaked Spiderhunter Arachnothera magna and Rufous-throated Partridge Arborophila rufogularis.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Nameri is famous for its population of Asian Elephant Elephas maximus and Tiger Panthera tigris. It is considered an important site for long-term protection of these mammals. Therefore, Project Tiger and Project Elephant are funding the management of this site. Sambar Cervus unicolor, Hog Deer Axis porcinus, Barking Deer Muntiacus muntjak and Gaur Bos frontalis are the common ungulates. Jungle Cat Felis chaus, Leopard Cat Prionailurus bengalensis, Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Large Indian Civet Viverra zibetha and Small Indian Civet Viverricula indica are some of the smaller predators reported from Nameri. Good numbers of Otters Lutra lutra are found in the stream and rivers, wherever fishing is prohibited.

The endemic Assam Roofed Terrapin Kachuga sylhetensis was reported. Keeled Box Turtle Pyxidea mouhotii, present in evergreen hill forest streams of northeast India and East Asia (Daniel 2002) is also found in Nameri.

Pressure/threats to key biodiversity
MAIN THREATS: Encroachment; Over grazing; Illegal fishing; Occasional poaching.

Nameri is under grave threat from potential encroachers who have already cleared the adjacent Balipara and Naduar Reserve Forests. Even the slightest opportunity due to slack administration may put the Park in jeopardy. The site is in need of great conservation attention. At least 18 Elephants have been poisoned by villagers in the recent past in the Nameri NP and adjoining Pakhui WLS. This is mainly in retaliation to crop damage on the encroached land.

Key contributors: Prashanta Saikia, Anwaruddin Choudhury and Kulojyoti Lahkar.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Nameri National Park. Downloaded from on 01/12/2023.