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Wildlife of Himalayas
Chir (Pine), Oak, Deodar, Fir,
Rhododendron, Birch, and Juniper
Tigers, Elephants, Wild Boar,
Crocodiles, Snow Leopard, Blue Sheep, and Mask Deer.
Major Wildlife Sanctuaries
Jim Corbett National Park, Namdhapa
National Park, Kaziranga National Park
Major Wildlife Regions
Himachal Pradesh, Uttranchal,
November to June
The Himalayas are the world's
longest, highest mountains. One third of all mountain animals live
here. The range is home to many endangered species. The Himalayan
mountain range is over 1,500 miles long and 250 miles wide and
includes most of Nepal and Bhutan, south Tibet, and the extreme north
of India. it is divided into three zones: the Greater, Lesser, and
Outer Himalayas. Since the range is so long with so many varied
climates, the wildlife of the Himalayas is remarkably diverse. The
Himalayan region displays great variety in flora and fauna. It is also
where rare medicinal herbs are said to grow. In the Terai - the
Himalayan foothills, there are luxuriant tropical forests of Sal, Teak
And Shisham. As one climbs, one encounters a variety of Chir (Pine),
Oak, Deodar, Fir, Rhododendron, Birch And Juniper. At higher altitudes
the Juniper becomes a bush.
Origin of Indian Himalayas
The Himalayas were created about 70
million years ago when two continental plates collided, pushing up the
massive mountain range where they met. In this way India and Eurasia
were joined together, which accounts for the wide variety of wildlife
found here. Species from Asia, Africa, and the Mediterranean all
converged here. Even today, various species of the eastern
Himalayas have a west Chinese influence, while the western range has
Europe Mediterranean elements. Fossil records show that animals such
as the giraffe and the hippo once lived here.
Four different types of vegetation
live in the Himalayas: tropical, subtropical, temperate, and alpine.
The foothills of the Outer Himalayas are blanketed in dense tropical
rain forests of bamboo, oak, and chestnut. Further west, as the
altitude increases, the forest thins, and evergreen, cedars, pines,
and firs become the dominant species. In the alpine zone, which begins
at about 12.000 feet, grows great amounts of moist vegetation,
including juniper and rhododendron. The domestic yak supplies rural
nomads in Tibet with meat and hides. Its also serves as a pack animal.
The male monal or Impeyon pheasant, has iridescent, multicolored
plumage that he displays when courting his mate. This national bird of
Nepal is widely hunted for sport. It is difficult to imagine today
that these Himalayan slopes were densely wooded less than a century
ago. While Himalayan forests are not as lush as the rain-fed South
Indian forests, they do attain an impressive magnificence in the
unspoilt upper regions.
Insects of Himalayas
The forests of the Himalayan
foothills are an ideal home for insects, including bumblebees and
crane flies. Higher up the slopes, where the nights are colder, many
insect species have dark bodies to absorb as much heat as possible.
Many butterflies live at surprisingly high altitudes: Apollo's, blues,
vanessas, and papilios are common up to 14,000 feet. Even higher than
this are other tiny insects. No one is sure how they survive at such
altitudes; they likely feed on pollen, seeds, and other organic debris
swept upward by drafts.
sheep species live in the Himalayas than in any other mountain range
in the world. They include the Marco Polo sheep, which, because of the
market for its long, spiraling horns, has been hunted almost to
extinction. The largest wild sheep in the world, the great Tibetan
sheep, also live here. They can withstand extreme temperatures ranging
from scorching summers to freezing winters.
Three species of mountain goat live
in the Himalayas: the Ibex, the markhor, and the wild goat. Three
species of goat antelope live here too. Taken is the national animal
of Bhutan. The massive yak is the largest animal of the mountains, and
one of the highest dwellings animals in the world. Its long shaggy
coat enables it to inhabit the coldest areas of the Himalayas.
The brown bear and the Himalayan
black bear scavenge mammal carcasses, although they also eat fruit.
One of the rarest bears in the world, the Tibetan blue bear, also
lives here. Cats and dogs live in the Himalayas: the wolf, the wild
dog, and the hill fox are common. Among the cats are: the tiger and
leopard, as well as the jungle cat, lynx, and Pallas cat. The
beautiful snow leopard rangers throughout the Himalayas' its prey
consists of wild sheep and goats.
The Himalayan mountain range is one
of the most endangered environments in the world. Mankind is gradually
encroaching on the wilderness, building, polluting, and destroying.
Although steps are now being taken to preserve this important habitat,
it is a case of too little, too late. the elusive snow leopard has a
beautiful, thick coat that is soft gray on top, paling to a pure white
underside. This has made it a target for hunters, and poachers;
despite the species being protected, several are killed each year.
The musk deer used to be common in
the Himalayas. Musk from the males scent gland is in demand from
perfume manufacturers. Consequently, the species is in danger of
Extinction, dispute protection with preserves. Other endangered
Himalayan species include the brown bear, Tibetan blue bear, red
panda, and black necked crane. The Marco Polo sheep, a rare subspecies
of the argali, a sheep of the Himalayan plateaus, is widely hunted
despite protection. secluded valleys still preserve an unspoiled way
of life for villagers and wildlife. The Chinese were the first to use
the musk deer's scent in perfume. This deer is now very rare in the
The Himalayas Karakoram mountain range contains 96 of the world's 109
peaks over 24,000 feet.
Mount Everest, the world's highest peak at 29,141 feet, was named
after Col. Sir. George Everest.
The spiraling horns of the Himalayan markhor can grow to a length of
Himalayan Wildlife Sanctuaries
& National Parks Around Himalayas
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
Wildlife Excursions/Itineraries of