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ENVIS Hub : Environmental Information System (Arunachal)
Status of Environment and Related Issues
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EagleNest WildLife Sanctuary

Eaglenest or Eagle's Nest Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area of India in the Himalayan foothills of West Kameng District, Arunachal Pradesh. It conjoins Sessa Orchid Sanctuary to the northeast and Pakke Tiger Reserve across the Kameng river to the east. Altitude ranges are extreme: from 500 metres (1,640 ft) to 3,250 metres (10,663 ft). It is a part of the Kameng Elephant Reserve. On the way towards Bomdila, there are series of mini water falls all along the road. One will be tempted to get down for a while to associate with this charming beauty of nature. Down hill get a sight of flowing Kameng River through the thick lush green canopy of tropical vegetation. It is a real ocean of green paradise on earth. Eaglenest derives its name from Red Eagle Division of the Indian army which was posted in the area in the 1950s.
Steep uphill mountainous range with deep valley along the Kameng River with clear flying sky is a dome for the variety of birds, specially hornbill, eagle, kingfishers, pheasant, ducks etc. Such an area has been notified vide Notification dtd.18.10.89 u/s 18 of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 as Eagle Nest Wildlife Sanctuary covering an area of 217 Sq.Km. The border of the Sanctuary is up to Diji Nallah after which the terrain and landscape has a local variation. As one goes further north the altitudinal change contribute in charge of vegetation. The forest changes from tropical to sub-tropical with change in composition of crop. Eaglenest is notable as a prime birding site due to the extraordinary variety, numbers and accessibility of species.

Geography and Climate 

Eaglenest and Sessa Orchid Sanctuary together occupy a rough east–west rectangle with Sessa occupying the northeast quadrant. Eaglenest is bounded to the north by Eaglenest Ridge and the reserved forests of the Bugun community (Lama Camp area). Eaglenest adjoins Tawang district to the north. The Bhalukpong–Bomdila highway (and Pakke immediately beyond) are its eastern boundary. There are no distinct geographical features delineating its western boundary along the Bhutan border and the southern boundary at about 27° N latitude.

Eaglenest and Sessa ridges rise to 3,250 metres (10,663 ft) and 3,150 metres (10,335 ft) respectively and are the first major barriers to the monsoon as it moves north from the plains of Assam. These ridges get over 3,000 millimetres (120 in) of rain on the southern slopes and about 1,500 millimetres (59 in) on the northern ones.

The eastern half of Eaglenest and Sessa sanctuaries is drained by the Tippi Naala (Tippi river) which joins the Kameng river at Tippi village on the Bhalukpong–Bomdila highway. Several smaller streams including Buhiri Nadi and Dihung Nadi in the western half of the area flow down to join the Brahmaputra separately.
Eaglenest is part of the Kameng protected area complex (KPAC), the largest contiguous closed-canopy forest tract of Arunachal Pradesh, which includes Eaglenest, Pakke, Sessa, Nameri, and Sonai Rupai sanctuaries and associated reserved forest blocks. The complex covers 3500 km2 in area and ranges from 100 metres (328 ft) to 3,300 metres (10,827 ft) in altitude.

Eaglenest has an unpaved road running from its base to Eaglenest pass at 2,800 metres (9,186 ft) allowing good access to the entire altitudinal range, making it accessible to the military, scientists and ecotourists.

Fauna 
Birds 

Eaglenest is well known as a major birding area. It is home to at least 454 species of birds including 3 cormorants, 5 herons, black stork, Oriental white (black-headed) ibis, 4 ducks, 20 hawks, eagles, kites, harriers and vultures, 3 falcons, 10 pheasants, junglefowl, quail, and peafowl, black-necked crane, 3 rails, 6 plovers, dotterels, and lapwings, 7 waders, ibisbill, stone-curlew (Eurasian thick-knee), small pratincole, 2 gulls, 14 pigeons, 3 parrots, 15 cukoos, 10 owls, 2 nightjars, 4 swifts, 2 trogons, 7 kingfishers, 2 bee-eaters, 2 rollers, hoopoes, 4 hornbills, 6 barbets, 14 woodpeckers, 2 broadbills, 2 pittas, 2 larks, 6 martins, 7 wagtails, 9 shrikes, 9 bulbuls, 4 fairy-bluebirds, 3 shrike, brown dipper, 3 accentors, 46 thrushes, 65 Old World flycatchers, 6 parrotbills, 31 warblers, 25 flycatchers, 10 tits, 5 nuthatches, 3 treecreepers, 5 flowerpeckers, 8 sunbirds, Indian white-eye, 3 bunting, 14 finches, 2 munia, 3 sparrows, 5 starlings, 2 orioles, 7 drongos, ashy woodswallow and 9 jays. The sanctuary has the distinction of having three tragopan species, perhaps unique in India. Eaglenest is the site where Bugun liocichla was first discovered in 1995 and again observed and described in 2006 by Ramana Athreya.

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