WILDLIFE IN HIMACHAL PRADESH

With the great Himalayan Range shielding and running through the magical land of Himachal Pradesh, it is home to numerous species of plants and animals.

Posted by Sneha on May 19th, 2017

With the great Himalayan Range shielding and running through the magical land of Himachal Pradesh, it is home to numerous species of plants and animals. With an exhilarating variety of plants, animals and marine life, Himachal wildlife is a look at the wild, raw and ferocious animals that roam freely amongst the rough terrain of Himachal’s mountains, forests and valleys.

Himachal has over 33 wildlife sanctuaries and 2 national parks which are biodiverse hotspots for animal lovers, wildlife photographers and researchers. The Himalayan National Park is also listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. The best way to explore the wildlife first hand is through treks- the winding terrains through lush forests and the challenging treks up the rocky mountain trails, provide an absolute adrenaline rush and also make it easy to spot some of the creatures. Apart from this there are also wildlife safaris and camping experiences available.

It’s an experience that one should definitely be a part of, because the biodiversity will leave you astounded by the beauty, grace and ferocity of some of the most endangered and rare species.

The dreams of yesterday are the hopes of today and the reality of tomorrow. Science has not yet mastered prophecy. We predict too much for the next year and yet far too little for the next ten.

1.Himalayan Black Bear:

The Himalayan black bear has made itself a common sight near the forests and rocky crevices of the Himalayas. The existence of such a species is at risk as it is a very vulnerable species and being able to catch a glimpse of one of these bears is very difficult. If in case you do get a chance to be near one, it is best to avoid it, as the black bear is extremely violent towards humans. But they can be found residing in the national parks or sanctuaries. There are two variants to the Himalayan bear: the brown bear and black bear.

2.Tahr:

The Thar belongs to the goat species, but is much more powerful and agile compared to the normal goats we see in India. The Thar is usually found near the wood-laden hills, valleys and slopes, as they feed on shrubs, herbs, grass and vegetation found in Himachal. What makes it stand out is its long coat of hair, which during the winter season, becomes reddish brown and dense.

3.The Red Panda:

They are as adorable as their relatives the Giant Panda, but are a smaller variant with a red fur coat. They are commonly found in the eastern Himalayas but are endangered. They usually reside in coniferous and deciduous forests- where it’s easy to spot one of these playful mammals hanging from a bamboo or hollow tree. They are under threat of extinction due to habitat loss, poaching and fragmentation.

4.The Himalayan Wolf:

Wolves are one of the most majestic and fierce animals and there’s an elegance that resounds from them. With their powerful predatory skills and echoing howls, the Himalayan wolf is a sight to see. They thrive in the cold, mountainous terrain and can be found in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh. The Himalayan Wolf is one the oldest species of wolves in India with an ancient isolated line, but are now critically endangered.

5.Snow Leopard:

The biggest attraction when it comes to Himachal wildlife is the Snow Leopard! The marvelous beauty, poise, elegance and fierceness of this animal is a blessing to witness. The predatory species are found in steep terrains, rocky outcrops and ravines; their habitats are usually difficult to access, but they can be found in the sanctuaries and parks. It is definitely a memorable experience to come even near one of these majestic felines and you need to be extremely patient. They are vulnerable to extinction and there are only less than 10,000 snow leopards left in the wild.

What makes the wildlife of Himachal unique, is how the majestic animals survive the subzero temperature and the roughness of the geography, while being some of the most elegant and powerful creatures. The major threat they face isn’t from the other predators, it is from the people, where deforestation, poaching have left them to fend for themselves and protect their species from extinction day by day. It is our job to admire and observe these animals, while also ensuring that we protect them and save their species!

Placeholder text by Space Ipsum. Photographs by NASA on The Commons.

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