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 Pakhui Tiger Reserve across the Kameng River to the east. Altitude ranges extremely from 500 metres (1,640 ft) to 3,250 metres (10,663 ft). See: Map 1, Topo map It is a part of the Kameng Elephant Reserve.
Eaglenest is notable as a prime birding site due to the extraordinary variety, numbers and accessibility of bird species there. Eaglenest derives its name from Red Eagle Division of the Indian army which was posted in the area in the 1950s.
Geography And Climate:
Eaglenest and Sessa Orchid Sanctuary together occupy a rough east-west rectangle with Sessa occupying the north-east 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 slopes.
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.
Eaglenest is home to a wide variety of Herpetofauna including at least 34 species of amphibians, 24 species of snakes and 7 species of lizards including 3 geckos, 3 agamids and 4 skinks. Abor Hills Agama was rediscovered at Eaglenest after 125 years. Other rare species include Darjeeling False-wolfsnake which was only known to science through 5 specimens, Anderson's Mountain lizard, Günther's Kukri Snake, Common Slug Snake, and Keelback snakes which have not been definitively identified.
Eaglenest is home to at least 15 species of mammals including the endangered Capped Langur, Bengal tiger, Asian Elephant, Red Panda, Asiatic Black Bear and the vulnerable, Arunachal Macaque and Gaur. It was here that a new taxon of primate was discovered in 1997 by noted primatologist of north-east India Dr Anwaruddin Choudhury but he thought it to be a new subspecies of Tibetan or Pere David's macaque. It was described as a new species, i.e., Arunachal Macaque in 2004. The highest elevation, 11,000 ft that the wild Asian elephants reach anywhere is also partly in this sanctuary.
Eaglenest is home to at least 165 species of butterflies including Bhutan Glory, Grey Admiral, Scarce Red-Forester, Dusky Labyrinth, Tigerbrown, Jungle-queen sp, White-edged Bush-Brown,and White Owl.
In Eaglenest_Wildlife_Sanctuary there is a camp named Sessni which in Nishi language means Nettle. The place is filled with poisonous Elephant nettle on either side of the road.
Eaglenest is physically protected from timber and animal poaching only by its isolation and the poor quality of the one lane road leading inside it. It is administered by the Divisional Forest Officer, Shergaon Forest Division, Rupa (currently Mr. Millo Tasser, IFS). He is assisted by a Range Forest Office in Singchung and Beat Forest Offices in Ramalingam (close to Singchung) and Khellong. The absence of any settlement inside Eaglenest has minimized any problem of hunting.