Juley Ladakh [Wildlife]


I hope am not doing this in a hurry – but in the first of the “few part” series of my Juley Ladakh series i will be presenting the Wildlife of Ladakh. Though for a common man it might sound strange as if Ladakh is meant for only Landscape or Travel images – as a wildlife enthusiast you will never fail  to witness and feel the wide variety of birds and mammals it has to offer. One prime reason why any wildlife lover would like to visit is for the Black Neck Crane (Grus Nigricollis) which come all the way upto the wetlands of ladakh to breed during the summer season. Once season and the activity is over they fly over across to regions in Bhutan until the end of winter. Next thing that will come to anybody’s mind when we talk about mammals is the Snow Leopard. Its one of the most elusive cats found in our region. Apart from these some of the most common mammals of this region are Marmots which are common across all high pass region, Kiangs which are the only other Wild ass found in India other than the Asiatic Wild Ass found in Gujrat. Kiangs are much muscular and rugged and are confined to the high plateau regions of the Himalayas. The Bharal/Bluesheep/Mountain Goat are the very commonly found but difficult to sight mammals. The way these skittish beauties get camoflaged to the rocky hills of the himalayas is really a sight to see. At times it really takes a second or sometimes even a third look before you could actually track them to capture them on film, even if they are 50mts away from you. When it comes to Birds Horned Larks are found all over the place. Lammergier, Griffon, Eurasian Hobby are some of the highlight Raptors of the trip. Chukars are common where the hills are close to village settlements and when you keep a keen eye what one ( or rather ME ) mistakes as a Chukar might end up as Tibetan Snowcock. High altitude wetlands like TsoKar are the place to see Bar Headed Geese and Brahminy ducks along with numerous other wetland winged wonders. Brownheaded gulls are never a miss once you visit Pangong lake. Redstarts are equally common as the Horned larks but are only found at region where there is a stream or waterbody. Raven, Yellow billed cough, Red billed cough, Wagtails, Hill pigeons goes in against the checklist when you are on the move.


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