Wild Life In Kashmir

The highest, youngest & largest chain of mountains in the world, the Himalayan range is one of the most fascinating and spectacular natrual wonders on earth.It is more than that : it is one of the richest store of animal life.For instance,it is remarkable that almost one third of the world's mammalian species that may be called true mountain animals are native to these mountains.

Jammu and kasmir with its variety of geographical regions,climates and vegetation has many delights to offer the wildlife enthusiast. Perphas no animal better epitomises the character and concerns of the mountain environment than the snow leopard, a beautiful and elusive survivor from the frigid Pleistocene era. Though its range is immense,extending over the entire Himalayan range, it is most advantageously sought in jammu and kashmir especially in the high ranges. Another rare animal is the hangul or Kashmir stag,one of the most endangered species of red deer in the world.An enigmatic mammal is the bharal;the controversy over whether it is a shep or a goat is not yet settled.Many unique species of antelope,goat and sheep are found in the state.

In winter high-altitude bird species move to the lower valleys and into the tourist's purview.Cinnamon sparrows,the black and yellow grosbeak,black bulbuls and monal pheasants(the male splendidly coloured) may be seen now.At this time,too large troops of the impressive Himalayan gray langur visit for the duration.

But nothing strikes the eye and imagination so much as in spring and summer,when the long foothills and deep valleys awake to life.Now also awakes the imposing Himalayan black bear and as the winter avifauna return to higher quarters the birds of the summer return.Among these is the lovely golden oriole.The langurs and hangful,too make thier way to higher valleys that are not however inaccessible.

Though wildlife conservation in Ladakh began fairly recently,there is much here that is not found in the lower ranges.Ladakh's ecosystem,lying at the confluence of three zoogeographic zones, is fascinating and uniquely varied.A dozen important mammals and over 100 species of birds make their home in this rugged terain most of them,though endangered or rare.

The wild yak is native only to this area. Other animals include the ibex, blue sheep, bharal, docile marmot and mouse hare. The snow leopard roams here too;so does the wild horse and the rare musk deer inhabits lower altitudes.Unfortunately some species are still outside the tourist's domain. Jammu and the Kashmir valley, however have led wildlife conservation efforts. Several National Parks and Sanctuaries have been established in the state.