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Flora and fauna

General Info
 ·  Flora
    ·  Tropical Forests
    ·  Temperate Forests
    ·  Sub-alpine forests
    ·  Alpine scrubs

      ·  Cats
      ·  Dog Family
      ·  Bears
      ·  Weasel Family
      ·  Rodents
      ·  Horse Familiy
      ·  Yak
      ·  Wild Yak
      ·  Bharal
      ·  Ibex
      ·  Deer
    ·  Birds

Why are these animals endangered?

How much money do the poachers make?

Protected Areas
 ·  Nepal
 ·  India

The Himalayas - where earth meets sky
Flora and Fauna

Matching the plant world, the animal kingdom in the Himalayas also show fantastic diversity. These animals are also remarkably different from other animals found elsewhere in the Indian subcontinent, for example, the plains of India. The diversity in wildlife is tremendous - be it in case of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians or even fishes, in the Himalayan lakes. These animals live in various habitats, ranging from dry temperate forests to areas above the tree line.

Storks. Credit: Rajesh Shrestha
Credit: Rajesh Shrestha

Like the plant kingdom, the animals also need to adapt with the conditions in the mountains like the biting cold, the lack or excess of rainfall in certain parts, the increase in altitude. Several behavioral and physiological adaptations have developed in these animals due to the extreme climatic conditions present in many parts of the Himalayas. For example, many animals seasonally migrate in search of food and better living conditions. Many travel from lower altitudes to higher elevations in summer in search of alpine grass. In winters, the animals tend to come down to lower altitudes to survive the bitterly cold winds. Some animals hibernate in winter while others resist the cold with the help of their thick fur and bushy tails. In higher altitudes, to cope up with the rarefied air, animals have larger nasal cavities.

Carnivores are the most elusive of all mammals in the Himalayas, especially in the barren cold deserts. There are a variety of carnivores in the higher mountains, some of which are rare and threatened with extinction. These animals were indiscriminately hunted in the past and now face competition from domestic stock. This has had an adverse effect on the predator populations which barely manage to survive in these fragile ecosystems.

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