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|
|CITES||Appendix I||Appendix I|
|Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972||Schedule I||Schedule I|
|Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)||Appendix I||–|