Mizoram

Mrs Hume's Pheasant Syrmaticus humiae ©Tony Castro Website
Birding Mizoram

Mizoram is one of the Seven Sister States in North Eastern India. It shares land borders with the states of Tripura, Assam, Manipur, Bangladesh and the Chin State state of Burma. Mizoram became the 23rd state of India on 20 February 1987. Its population at the 2001 census stood at 888,573. Mizoram ranks second in India with a literacy rate of 88.49%.Mizoram has the most variegated hilly terrain in the eastern part of India. The hills are steep (avg. height 1000 metres) and separated by rivers which flow either to the north or south creating deep gorges between the hill ranges. The highest peak in Mizoram is the Blue Mountain with a height of 2210 metres. Its tropical location combined with the high altitude gives it a mild climate all year round. Mizoram is rich in flora and fauna and many kinds of tropical trees and plants thrive in the area. Mizoram literally means land of the highlanders.The biggest river in Mizoram is the River Kaladan also known as Chhimtuipui Lui in local Mizo language. It originates from Chin State in Burma and passes through Saiha and Lawngtlai districts in Southern tip of Mizoram and goes back to Burma’s Rakhine state, finally it enters Bay of Bengal at Akyab, a very popular port in Sittwe, Burma. Indian government has invested millions of rupees to set up inland water ways along this river to trade with Burma. The project name is known as Kaladan Multipurpose project.Although many more rivers and streams drain the hill ranges, the most important and useful rivers are the Tlawng (also known as Dhaleswari or Katakhal), Tut (Gutur), Tuirial (Sonai) and Tuivawl which flow through the northern territory and eventually join the Barak River in Cachar District. The Koldoyne (Chhimtuipui) which originates in Burma, is an important river in the south of Mizoram. It has four tributaries and the river is in patches. The western part is drained by Karnaphuli (Khawthlang tuipui) and its tributaries. A number of important towns, including Chittagong in Bangladesh, are situated at the mouth of the river. Before Independence, access to other parts of the country was only possible through the river routes via Cachar in the north, and via Chittagong in the south. Entry through the latter was cut off when the subcontinent was partitioned and ceded to East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in 1947.Lakes are scattered all over the state, but the most important among these are Palak dil (Pala Tipo), Tamdil, Rungdil, and Rengdil. The Palak lake, the biggest lake in Mizoram is situated in Mara Autonomous District Council (MADC) within Saiha District which is part of southern Mizoram and covers an area of 30 hectares. It is believed that the lake was created as a result of an earthquake or a flood. The local people believe that a village which was submerged still remains intact deep under the waters. The Tamdil lake is a natural lake situated 110/85 km from Aizawl. Legend has it that a huge mustard plant once stood in this place. When the plant was cut down, jets of water sprayed from the plant and created a pool of water, thus the lake was named ‘Tamdil which means of ‘Lake of Mustard Plant’. Today the lake is an important tourist attraction and a holiday resort.Mizoram has a mild climate, not very warm in summer and not very cold in winter. During winter, the temperature varies from 11°C to 21°C and in summer it varies between 20°C to 29°C. The entire area is under the regular influence of monsoons. It rains heavily from May to September and the average rainfall is 254 cm, per annum. The average annual rainfall in Aizawl and Lunglei are 208 centimetres and 350 centimetres, respectively. Winter in Mizoram is normally rain-free.

30% of Mizoram is covered with wild bamboo forests, many of which are largely unexploited. Mizoram harvests 40% of India’s 80 million-ton annual bamboo crop. The current state administration wishes to increase revenue streams from bamboo and aside from uses as a substitute for timber, there is research underway to utilize bamboo more widely such as using bamboo chippings for paper mills, bamboo charcoal for fuel, and a type of “bamboo vinegar” which was introduced by Japanese Scientist Mr. Hitoshi Yokota, and used as a fertilizer.Agriculture is the mainstay of the people of Mizoram. More than 70% of the total population is engaged in some form of agriculture. The age-old practice of Jhum cultivation is carried out annually by a large number of people living in rural areas. The climatic conditions of the state, its location in the tropic and temperate zones, and its various soil types along with well-distributed rainfall of 1900 mm to 3000 mm spread over eight to ten months in the year, have all contributed to a wide spectrum of rich and varied flora and fauna in Mizoram. These natural features and resources also offer opportunities for growing a variety of horticultural crops.

Contributors
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 659

    (As at December 2018)

    State Bird - Mrs Humes Pheasant Syrmaticus humiae

Useful Reading

  • * Field Guides & Bird Song

    For a comprehensive list of recommended titles covering India as a whole - please see the main India page of Fatbirder ISBN: Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • A Pocket Guide to the Birds of Mizoram

    By Anwaruddin Choudhury | The Rhino Foundation | 2008 | Paperback | 122 pages, B/w illus, maps | ISBN: 9788190086677 Buy this book from NHBS.com
  • Popular Birds of Mizoram

    By H Lalthanzara & Raju Kasambe | Scientific Book Centre | 2015 | Paperback | 124 pages, colour illustrations, 1 colour map | ISBN: 9788128700149 Buy this book from NHBS.com
Useful Information
  • State Bird: Mrs Hume's Pheasant Syrnaticus humiae
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • NP Murlen

    InformationSatellite View
    The tropical, semi-evergreen and sub montane Forests of Murlen are home to a rich variety of flora and fauna. About 15 species of mammals, 150 species of birds, 35 species of Medicinal plants, 2 species of bamboos, and 4 species of orchids so far have been recorded in this Park.
  • NP Phawngpui

    InformationSatellite View
    The Phawngpui National Park is located in the district of Chhimtuipui, near the Myanmar border in Mizoram. The park covers an area of around 50sq.kms, which abounds in natural beauty. The Park also encloses the Phawngpui Peak, which stands at a height of 2165m above the sea level. The Phawngpui Peak is the highest mountain peak in the whole of Mizoram. From this peak, one can enjoy an enthralling view of the beauty of Mizoram…
  • TR Dampa

    InformationSatellite View
    Dampa Tiger Reserve is the natural home of leopards, Indian bison, barking deer, sloth bear, gibbons, langurs, slow loris, rhesus macaque, Indian Python Python Molurus Molurus, wild boar and a variety of birds
  • WS Khawnglung

    WebpageSatellite View
    Good for mammals and birds with a variety of hornbills, partidges and pheasants in particular.
  • WS Lengteng

    InformationSatellite View
    Lengteng is home to a variety of animal species including birds. The most notable birds are the dark-rumped swift, grey sibia, Mrs. Hume's pheasant, grey peacock pheasant, Oriental pied hornbill, rufous-bellied eagle, and white-naped yuhina. Blyth’s tragopan was also reported from a survey in 2011. Common animal species include tiger, leopard, sambar deer, barking deer, goral, serow, hoolock gibbon, rhesus macaque and wild boar.
  • WS Palak Dil

    InformationSatellite View
    Palak Dil is home to a number of resident and migratory animals. It is particularly rich in a variety of birds, including endemic bird species. The water is inhabited by common and unique species of fishes. Different species of prawns, snails, crabs, turtles and tortoises. More than 70 species of birds have been recorded from the lake and its shore. Among unique species are Nepal fulvetta, white-bellied yuhina, little spiderhunter, streaked spinderhunter, yellow wagtail, black-capped kingfisher, hooded pitta, spot-breasted scimitar babbler, and white-rumped munia, which are rarely seen in other parts of the region. In addition aquatic birds and wild ducks in Palak Dil are found nowhere else in Mizoram.
  • WS Tawi

    WebpageSatellite View
    A very wide range of mammals including various cats and bears. Imperial Pigeon, junglefowl and a number of pheasants, partridges and hornbills are possible.
Trip Reports


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  • 2004 [01 January] - Neils P Dryer & Peter Lobo

    Report
    North East India is a vast area comprising of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. The variations of altitude, diversity of habitat, and extreme precipitation are factors which are responsible for the diversity and abundance of resident birds in this region. Some of the rare birds which occur are the Bengal Florican, Dark rumped Swift, White-Winged Duck, and the Marsh Babbler, Black breasted Parrotbill, White-belied Heron, Snowy-throated Babbler, Rufus -Vented Laughing thrush, Rufus-backed Sibia and the Beautiful Nuthatch.

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