The mysterious land of Ladakh lies in the outer Himalayas with peaks ranging from 5,800 m to 7,600 m. The cold deserts of Ladakh are known for the harsh environment with no signs of trees. Winds blow at a very high speed and everything is parched by the rarefied dryness. In such a rough area, only the fittest animal and plant life can survive. Yet the snowy land boasts of a bounty of wildlife.
The high mountain valleys of Ladakh are known for several unique avifauna species. The region is inhabited by Himalayan birds like Griffon Vultures, Tibetan Snow Cocks and Lammergeyers or Bearded Vultures. These huge birds are known for their three-metre long wings. When it comes to migratory birds, Black-necked Crane is the most charming species. Besides, Ladakh is also home to some other rare birds like the Bar Headed Geese, Woodpeckers, Ducks, Partridges, Barbets, Kingfishers, Parakeets, Swifts Eagles and Owls.
During a visit to Ladakh, one can easily spot animals like Kiang or Himalayan wild ass, Sheep, Ibex, Markhor Goats, Brown Bear, Himalayan Black Bear and Himalayan Wolf etc. These are seen in the Kargil and Zanskar regions. But sadly, most of these animals are facing extinction. Several other animals that can be seen commonly in Ladakh are:
-Snow Leopard (the main predator of the Himalayan region that preys on the wild sheep and goats of the Ladakh region)
-Yak (the only large herbivorous animal; seen migrating in winter to the lower Himalayan regions)
-Nyan (Big-Horned sheep or the great Tibetan sheep with around 145 cm long curved horns)
-Urial (one of the smallest sheep worldwide)
-Chiru or the Tibetan Antelope (hunted for its superfine Shahtoosh Wool)
-Bharal (the gray-blue hairy animal)
-Ibex (a goat with horns of about 147 centimeters length)