PMF IAS Current Affairs
PMF IAS Current Affairs

Ladakh National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries & Ramsar Sites

Hemis National Park

  • It is located within the Palearctic realm. It is the only National Park in India that is to the north of the Greater Himalayas. It is bounded on the north by the Indus River, and on the south by the Zanskar Range.
  • It is the 2nd largest contiguous protected area, after the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve and is famous for snow leopards. It is the only refuge in India for the Shapu (Ladakhi Urial).
  • Vegetation: Pine forests, alpine shrublands, meadows, and alpine tundra.
  • Major Fauna: Argali (Tibetan Sheep), bharal (blue sheep), Tibetan wolf.
  • Major Avifauna: Golden eagle, Himalayan griffon vulture and Himalayan snowcock.
  • Threats: Man-animal conflict due to overgrazing.

Wildlife Sanctuaries of Ladakh

Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary (Ramsar Site)

  • It is located in the Changthang Plateau. It has one of the highest lakes on earth, Tso Moriri (4595 m).
  • Korzok monastery (Korzok village) is located on the north-western bank of Tso Moriri.
  • Major Fauna: Snow leopard, kiang or Tibetan Wild Ass (LC), argali or Great Tibetan Sheep (NT).

Karakoram (Nubra Shyok) Wildlife Sanctuary

  • A high altitude Wildlife Sanctuary located in the easternmost reaches of the Karakoram range. It is one of the few places with a migratory population of the chiru/Tibetan antelope (NT).

Ramsar Sites of UT of Ladakh (2)

Tso Kar (IBA)

  • It is a high-altitude wetland complex consisting of two waterbodies:
  • Tso Kar (4,500 m above sea level) itself, a hypersaline lake to the north, &
  • Startsapuk Tso, a freshwater lake to the south.
  • It is called Tso Kar, meaning white lake, because of the white salt efflorescence found on the margins due to the evaporation of highly saline water. It is the most important breeding area of the Black-Necked Cranes (NT) in India.
  • Endangered Species: Saker Falcon (EN),  Asiatic Wild Dog (Dhole – EN), Snow Leopard (VU)


  • It is a freshwater to brackish lake lying at 4,595 m above sea level. With no outflow, evaporation in the arid steppe conditions causes varying levels of salinity.
  • The 400-year-old Korzok monastery near the lake attracts many tourists. The barley fields at Korzok have been described as the highest cultivated land in the world.
  • Tsomoriri is the only breeding ground outside of China for Black-Necked Cranes (NT) and the only breeding ground for Bar-Headed Geese (LC) in India.
  • Great Tibetan Sheep (Argali – NT) and Tibetan Wild Ass (Kiang – LC) are endemic to the Tibetan Plateau, of which the Changthang Plateau of India is the westernmost part.
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