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Ladakh Wildlife

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YakLadakh - characterised by unruly terrains, rugged landscapes and snow-dressed mountains which rise to several thousand feet from the surface of earth, with forbidden valleys. Ladakh is a cold desert with no signs of trees far and wide. Winds blow here at a very high speed and everything is parched by the rarefied dryness of the environ. Spread here and there, a few narrow fertile valleys provide a clear sparkling air. The limpidity of the atmosphere, in fact, gives the night sky a unique clarity, so full and bright with stars that one feels transported to some ethereal setting, far away from Earth.

Ladakh the mysterious land stands at a height of 4,600 meters in the outer Himalayas with its peaks, ranging from 5,800 to 7,600 meters forming the most obvious feature of the area.

Ladakh acquires virtually no natural forests, though along riverbanks and valleys some greenery can be seen. The lower mountain slopes are few but higher up, near the snow line, wild rose, willow and herbaceous plants have favourably colonised the slopes. Ladakh is the alpine zone, where soil, wind, precipitation and exposure are main agents in the management of a particular life. The temperature variation due to height is by far the most important factor. Because of the decrease in the temperature, vegetation becomes more less and stunted as one ascends the slopes.
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In this extremely harsh environment one would hardly see any evidence of wildlife. Few of the animals you can find here are :

Yak or dong is a wild ox and the largest animal found in Ladakh. It is definitely more imposing than its placid domestic counterpart. Immensely shaggy and weighing about a tone it has curved horns whose tips can be as wide apart as 90 cm. and measure 76 cm. over the curves. It can easily be identified by its long black hair, which is tinged with gray at the muzzle. Spending its summers at a height above 6,000 meters, in winter it moves in herds to the lakes, marshes and lower valleys.

Largest and most magnificent of wild sheep in the whole world, it is also called the Great Tibetan sheep (Ovis ammon). Roughly 200 of these sheep are found in the extreme eastern portion of Ladakh. The horns of the nyan measure up to 145 cm. and the animal normally remains at a great height, rarely descending to a level below 4,500 meters. Urial

Urial or shapu (Ovis orientalis) is the smallest sheep in the world. Its body, which is just about as tall as its horns usually weighs 85 Kg. and has horns measuring upto 99 cm. These sheep prefer the grassy mountain slopes. The breeding of this species, as is the case with most sheep, takes place during December-January and they give birth to their young ones around May. The need for protection of the urial is great as they are within easy reach of hunters. Their numbers have been declining rapidly and it is estimated that there are no more than 500 in Ladakh.

The most common and wide spread of the sheep in the Ladakh region is the bharal or the blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur). Found at an altitude of almost 6,000 m. In summer they graze in huge herds on the rich and abundant grasses of the alpine meadows. Their brownish-gray colouring provides them with protective camouflage and as they often stand motionless they can be extremely difficult to spot but, when alarmed, bharal will bolt swiftly to safety. Strangely, bharal seems to bear some morphological traits of both sheep and goats.

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Ladakh Holiday (09D)
Destinations :Delhi - Chandigarh - Manali - Jispa ....
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Ladakh Travel Package ( 11D )
Destinations : Delhi - Leh - Saspol - Lamayuru..
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