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Flora and fauna

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

 ·  Fauna
    ·  Mammals
    ·  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

Why are these animals endangered?
The forest is the natural habitat of animals. However, most of the forests, in some way or the other, are used by humans because it is the source of living for people in the rural areas. As the human population increased and the pressure on the forests grew, humans started encroaching on forest territory. As a result, the forests quickly dwindled. The wild animals in Nepal, for example,have lost much of their natural. Loss of habitat is however, just one of thereasons animalsare disappearing.

A major threat to the animals is poaching. Poachers have been largely responsible for making wildlife populations dwindle. Animals like tigers, leopards, rhinos, bears and musk deer have been killed by poachers for making money.

One horned Rhino. Credit: Mahabir Pun
One horned Rhino
Credit: Mahabir Pun

The Rhinoceros are mainly killed for their horns. A rhino's horn sell for thousands of dollars. In Arabian countries, especially in North Yemen, the rhino's horns are mainly used for making handles of daggers. In oriental countries they are used for making traditional medicines for headache, cold and flu.

Tigers at the Corbett National Park, India. Credit: Karamjeet Singh
Tigers at the Corbett National Park, India
Credit: Karamjeet Singh

Tigers and leopards are killed for their superb coats and bones. The bones are used in Chinese and Japanese traditional medicine. Official figures put the the total number of tigers in India to be close to 5000. However experts on the topic and independent sources say that the actual figure may be closer to 3000 than 5000. There is a rising demand for tiger related goods. Tiger skins and bones are in heavy demand. Poachers and smugglers have established a clever route by which tigers surface in the form of medicines and balms in Chinese markets as Chinese "medicine". Not a year goes by without stories of seizures of bones and skins by the customs officials. But these seizures are only the tip of the iceberg and the poaching still continues.

Musk Deer. Credit: Mahabir Pun
Musk Deer
Credit: Mahabir Pun


Musk Deer
Musk deer are hunted for musk, a powdery substance which the male musk deer secretes from a gland in the abdomen. This is a highly valued item for perfumes and medicines. Chinese use the musk as a folk medicine and believe it has aphrodisiac properties.

Himalayan Black Bear
The Himalayan black bear is also endangered. They are killed for their gall bladder which provide the ingredients of one of the most coveted oriental medicines.

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