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  R E L A T E D   T O P I C S:   F O R   W I L D L I F E   O F  H I M A L A Y A S
  Dachigam National Park, J&K   Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve, J&K
  Overa Wildlife Sanctuary, J&K   Kishtwar Altitude National Park ,J&K 
  Hemis High Altitude National Park, J&K   The Great Himalayan National Park, H.P.
  Pin Valley National Park, H.P.   Dudhwa National Park, U.P.
  Wildlife in Sikkim   Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary, Darjeeling
  Royal Chitwan Park, Nepal   Royal Bardia National Park, Nepal

<< Indian Himalayas >> << Wildlife and Animals >> << Flora & Fauna >> << Wildlife Sanctuaries Sikkim >>

Wildlife Sanctuaries Sikkim

 Area  7096 Sq. Km
 Wildlife Attractions  Bara singha or Swamp deer, Chital, hog deer, barking deer, sambar, wild boar, jackal.
 Number of District  04, Mangan, Namchi, Gangtok, Gyalshing
 Best Time to Visit  March to June and September to December.

Wildlife in Sikkim

In order to protect the rich flora and fauna of Sikkim from the poacher, the Government has established parks and sanctuary. Khangchendzonga National Park The largest of these is the Khangchendzonga National Park which encompasses an area covering 1784 sq km. It is bounded in the north by the Tent Peak and the ridge of the Zemu glacier.

General Information on Wildlife in Sikkim

Area : 7096 sq km, Gangtok is the Capital of Sikkim, District Headquarters - North-Mangan, South-Namchi, East - Gangtok, West - Gyalshing, Population - 540,493, Language Spoken - Nepali, English, Hindi, Bhutia (Sikkimese), Bhutia (Tibetan), Lepcha, Limboo. Literacy Rate - 69.68%.

Climate - Cold Winters in the month of November to February with minimum temperatures dipping to 4 centigrade during January - February. It is between the month of March and early May when sunshine is quite abundant. Though summer is officially from May to October, Sikkim is almost always wet due to the heavy monsoons, with rains at times continuing for days on ends. Longest recorded nonstop rain is 11 days. September to October is Autumn. A peculiar feature of Sikkim weather is that though there is a classification of sorts of the various seasons, actually experiences a cold winter from end of November to February and monsoons throughout the year with a little respite during May - June and October - November. Even the winter months can be irritatingly wet and damp with the unpredictable showers.

Best Season to Visit - March to June and September to December.

Summer Temperature - 28 ° C, Winter Temperature - 0 ° C.

Wildlife Sanctuaries Sikkim

Khangchendzonga National Park -

Place: North Sikkim District, Sikkim
Best time to visit: April to May and August to October
Nearest town: Chungthan (20 Km)
Main attractions:
 Musk deer, Himalayan Tahr, Snow leopard

Khangchendzonga National Park, situated in North Sikkim bordering Nepal, covers an area of 850 sq. km. and was set up on August 26, 1977. The area of the park, named as a Biosphere reserve with an elevation ranging from 1830m to over 8550m, is enclosed by some impressive mountain peaks and glaciers on all but its eastern side. On the western border, lies the Khanchenjunga, one of the highest mountain peaks towering above virtually undisturbed fine forest cover. The peaks and glaciers on the northern side include the Nepal, Talung, Tent peaks and the Zemo (longest) and Simyo glaciers and other peaks like Pandim, Narshing, Siniolchu etc in other directions. The park with its continuous tract of mountains, green forests, flowering meadows and streams in its primitive wilderness attract many nature and adventure lovers. The lush vegetation include Temperate broad leaved forests dominated by oaks, mixed Coniferous forests with fir, birch, maple, willow etc and alpine grasses and shrubs at higher altitudes along with many medicinal plants and herbs.

Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary

Best Season to Visit : March to late May and September to mid- December.
Area :  51.76 sq km
Distance :  20 km( from Gangtok )
Altitude : 1280 - 2652 m
Note : Entry to Sanctuary is permitted by the Chief Wildlife Warden, Government of Sikkim, Gangtok
.
Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary is located at a distance of 25 kms from Gangtok and has an area of 51.76 sq. km. The main vegetation is oak, katus, kimbu, champa and thick bamboo forests and ferns. The sanctuary is also home to a large number of wild orchids, rhododendrons, etc. The richly forested area is known to be home for various species of wild animals and birds. This area, located close to Gangtok, is being developed as a short trekking trail. The best season is October and April. A Log House with two rooms is available at Golitar and Tumin. Charges are Rs.50/- per person per night and entry fee to the Sanctuary is Rs.5/- per head. Apart from this sanctuary there are others like Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary, Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary, Menam Wildlife Sanctuary and Khang-chen-Dzonga National Park.

Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary -

Best Season to Visit : March - May and September - November.
Area :  36.34 sq km.
Altitude : 10,600 ft.
Location : It is located in South Sikkim above the town of Rabongla and covers an area of about 3,500 hectares with its highest point being at Maenam.

The Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary lies in the northern corner of South district. The main entry point being Ravangala, since it is easily approachable by road and private tourist lodges exist. Ravangala is 26 km by road from Namchi and 65 km from Gangtok via Singtam. Climate of this Wildlife area is - Ravangala is known as the “Cherrapunji of Sikkim”, July is the wettest month, with the average annual precipitation being in excess of 300 cm. The reaches above 2500m receive regular snowfall in winter. Clear skies can be experienced only from November to May. The best trekking season being March – May when the Rhododendron and Magnolias adds a riot of colour to the spring air.

Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary -

Best Season to Visit : March - May and October - December.
Area :  43 sq km
Distance : 137 km (from Gangtok)
It is located near Yumthang in North Sikkim and contains a vast variety of rhododendrons. The sanctuary is bounded on its southern periphery by the Yakchey La and on the northern periphery by the Yumthang Valley known for its alpine meadow and hot springs.

There are over 30 species of rhododendrons in Sikkim. The majority of rhododendrons' species colonize in altitudes varying from 9000 to 14000 feet, although certain species even grow at around 16,000 feet. The route to Dzongri, the mountain paths to the Singalila range Varsey and the Yumthang valley in North Sikkim are covered with rhododendron shrubs and trees, almost exclusively. Flowering from May to August during this period the hillsides in these regions are a riot of colors. The species are preserved and nurtured in Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary located in Yumthang valley in North Sikkim, Versay Rhododendron Sanctuary at West Sikkim and Kyanglosha Alpine Sanctuary in East Sikkim.

This tour begins at Darjeeling with excursion to Shandakpur. After entering Sikkim a visit to Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, Pelling, Gangtok, Lachung, excursion to Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary. This tour is specially designed for the in-depth study of rhododendrons in Sikkim. The species varies with the elevation. The blooming time also differs with the altitude as well as the climatic condition. The accommodations are usually in star rated hotels in the town areas and log huts and lodges in Sandakphu, Varsey and Lachung.

Kyongnosia Alpine Sanctuary -

Best Season to Visit : April - August and October - November.
Area :  31 sq km
Distance : 26 km from Gangtok
Altitude : 3350 m
It is situated around the area adjoining the Tsomgo (Changu) lake along the Nathula Road. Animals, though present are very difficult to spot during a casual visit; but as this is the only safe refuge available to them from the disturbance of nearby army cantonments, you may expect to see signs of musk deer, serow, goral, common langur and the red panda in the higher ranges of the sanctuary. There are records of leopard and black bear too. So look carefully for animal tracks and signs such as pugmarks, browsed branches, droppings, small trails and dens in rocks and tree snags. The forest will then come alive for you and with practice you will soon be able to identify the animal making these signs. Animals and birds breed late at this altitude sometime between May to August. A lot of the smaller species use underground dens and nests or lake over abandoned or disused burrows. It is not uncommon to find small rivulets formed from melting ;now of the winter months. Often the dense rhododendron bushes around these water bodies serve is ideal sites for nesting of birds and you should be careful not to disturb the hidden occupants by avoiding walking into these bushes. Do study elements of this unique high altitude lake ecosystem.

Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary -

Best Season to Visit : March - May and September - November.
Area :  104 sq km
Altitude : 1600 m – 3600 m

This Rhododendron Sanctuary has been recently established and lies in the West corner of Sikkim. Mountains scarred by landslides suggest that development activities are taking a toll on the environment and the flora and fauna are definitely being affected. The loss of top soil, soil instability, degeneration of agriculture land and shrinking of catchments areas of the rivers are issues that are cause for concern. The alpine areas of Sikkim in particular which look so powerfully big and formidable are ironically most vulnerable and sensitive to environment degradation. High altitude soil is not readily regenerative and therefore overgrazing of yaks and sheep in alpine meadows has led to many stretches of land becoming barren. Man has realized that forests form an indispensable part of our life support system and placed their conservation high on the agenda. Activities: Trek and explore beautiful Rhododendron flower and other flora and fauna, Camping and other activity. Best Time: Feb-May / Sept-Nov.

Wildlife Excursions of Himalayas
 
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