Ladakh adopts State animal and bird

  • IASbaba
  • September 2, 2021
  • 0
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Ladakh adopts State animal and bird

Part of: Prelims and GS – III – Environment 

Context Ladakh recently adopted two endangered species, snow leopard and black-necked crane, as the State animal and the State bird.

  • Black-necked crane, only found in the Ladakh region, was the State bird of J&K before August 5, 2019.

About Snow Leopard

  • It is also known as Ghost of the mountains. 
  • They are positioned as the top predator in the food web.
  • It acts as an indicator of the health of the mountain ecosystem in which they live. 
  • Habitat: Higher Himalayan and trans-Himalayan landscape in  J&K, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
  • Snow Leopard’s capital of the world: Hemis, Ladakh.
  • Threats: Reduction in prey populations, illegal poaching and increased human population infiltration into the species habitat and illegal trade of wildlife parts and products 
  • Conservation Efforts by India
    • Himal Sanrakshak: It is a community volunteer programme, to protect snow leopards, launched on 23rd October 2020
    • In 2019, First National Protocol was also launched on Snow Leopard Population Assessment
    • SECURE Himalaya: Global Environment Facility (GEF)-UNDP funded project on conservation of high altitude biodiversity
    • Project Snow Leopard  launched in 2009
    • Snow Leopard is in the list of 21 critically endangered species for the recovery programme of the Ministry of Environment Forest & Climate Change.

About Black-necked crane 

    • It has A conspicuous red crown that adorns the head.
    • The juveniles have a brownish head and neck and plumage is slightly paler than that of an adult.
    • The bird is revered by the community of Monpas (major Buddhist ethnic group of Arunachal Pradesh) as an embodiment of the sixth Dalai Lama (Tsangyang Gyatso).
    • Habitat and Breeding Grounds : The high altitude wetlands of the Tibetan plateau , Sichuan (China), and eastern Ladakh (India) 
      • In Bhutan and Arunachal Pradesh, it only comes during the winters.
    • Threats: Damage to the eggs and chicks; Loss of habitat due to humans Development Projects; Increased grazing pressure on the limited pastures near the wetlands.
  • Steps for their Conservation: World Wide Fund for Nature-India (WWF-India) in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife Protection, Jammu & Kashmir, has been working towards conservation of high altitude wetlands, with black-necked cranes as a priority species in Ladakh region. 
Protection status Snow Leopard  Black-necked crane 
IUCN Vulnerable Near Threatened
CITES Appendix I Appendix I
Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 Schedule I Schedule I
Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Appendix I

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