Plastic and the Pup — Red Fox with a Bottle

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Hanle is a small, remote village in Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India, closer to Tibet, with a population of around 1000 people. It is surrounded by mountains, and marshland at the centre. This village is internationally known for hosting the world’s highest observatory.

Its unique landscape supports a vast range of wildlife and a breeding ground of various birds and mammals. The rocky mountains are home to Eurasian Eagle Owl, Upland Buzzard and the likes. Also there are mammals like … Read More

Feral Dogs attack a Tibetan Wild Ass

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While on a birding tour to Ladakh in July 2016, I was heading further east from Pangong Tso, crossing the Chushul plains. I stopped to get the permits checked at the Loma ITBP check-post. While waiting there, a Kiyang entering the river grabbed my attention. I waited and watched as I had never seen them doing that. To my surprise, it started swimming to go across. Meanwhile, it had also caught the attention of a pack of dogs, which had … Read More

Hybridisation Threat in the Himalaya

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The Himalayan wolf was only recently distinguished as the oldest lineage within Canis lupus, yet little is known about its ecology, distribution and behavior. In Ladakh and Himachal Pradesh, the wolf population was last estimated in 1995 at 350 individuals, and is listed as protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act. Due to human-induced pressures, this incredibly unique wolf lineage faces a variety of threats. Additionally, feral dogs have been known to endanger wild canid populations through … Read More

Plastic in Ladakh

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Ladakh, the trans-himalayan region of Jammu and Kashmir and home to faunal diversity rarely found elsewhere in the country, is fast becoming a viable destination for various classes of tourism. Ever since the opening up of some areas close to the LoC as well as the elimination of the need for an Inner Line Permit in several of the areas to Indians and, to some extent, international tourists, the inflow of tourists to the region has increased from 527 in … Read More

Pale Weasel, Palam Bridge, Leh, Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir

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The Pale or Mountain Weasel (Mustela altaica) is a high-altitude carnivore which has a short muzzle, long flattened skull, a slim body and short legs. These weasels eat small mammals, birds, lizards, and occasionally insects and berries.

This species is found in the mountains of Asia, from Russian Central Asia to Korea to northern India.

This species is listed as Near Threatened because its population is in significant decline due to habitat loss because of over-grazing by livestock through most … Read More

Plastic reaches Ladakh

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A female Himalayan Marmot (Marmota himalayana) gathering plastic as part of its nesting material. This photograph was taken enroute to Diskit from Leh. Plastic and other litter irresponsibly disposed by careless tourists on these remote roads can create serious problems for wildlife.

Himalayan Marmots live in alpine meadows with very low rainfall, typically inhabiting slopes where soil can be readily excavated (Molur et al. 2005; Smith and Xie 2008). It lives in colonies and excavates unusually deep burrows, … Read More