Important Bird Areas

The Important Bird Area programme was initiated by Bird Life International to document and advocate the protection and management of a network of sites that are important for the long term viability of naturally occurring bird populations across the geographic range of those bird species for which a site based approach is appropriate. Following this concept a total of 9 IBA sites have been identified in the State.

Table 1: Important Birds Areas

Sl No. IBA Sites Name IBA Criteria
1 Balpakram complex A1, A2, A4i
2 Mawphlang Sacred Grove A1, A2
3 Nokrek Natinal Park A1, A2, A3
4 Nongkhyllem Wildlife Sanctuary A1
5 Narpuh Reserve Forests A1, A2
6 Riat Khwan Umiam A1, A2
7 Saipung Data deficient
8 Upper Shillong A1, A2
9 Cherrapunjii: Cliffs, Gorges and Sacred Groves A1, A2

IBA Criteria: A1-Threatened species; A2- Endemic Birds areas 130: Eastern Himalayas; A3- Biome 8: Sino-Himalaya Subtropical Forests, Biome 9: Indo-Chinese Tropical Moist Forests; A4i- > or equal 1% bio-geographic Population

Tawny-breasted Wren babbler (Spelaeornis longicaudatus) is a Globally Vulnerable bird which is restricted to the hills of Meghalaya (Khasi Hills) 1000-2000m and Manipur. It is uncommon and found in the under storey of broadleaved evergreen forests, forest edges, secondary growth, scrub and grass near forests. The Khasi Hills Swift or Dark rumped swift Apus acuticauda is another Globally Vulnerable bird worth mentioning because it is known that it breeds only in the Khasi Hills in Meghalaya and the Blue Mountains in Mizoram. The birds were recently observed at the Nohkalikai Falls and the Nohsngithiang Falls.