Ladakh’s State animal and State bird: The Union Territory of Ladakh has declared snow leopard as the new state animal and black-necked crane as the new state bird, two years after it was carved out as a separate Union Territory (UT) from the erstwhile State of J&K.
- The notification in this regard was released by Shri Radha Krishna Mathur, Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of Ladakh on August 31, 2021.
- The decision was taken keeping in view the bifurcation of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh into separate administrative divisions in 2019.
About Snow Leopard:
- The snow leopard (Panther unica), whose numbers are dwindling worldwide is also known as Ghost of the mountains
- It has been categorized as “vulnerable” in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.
- They are positioned as the top predator in the food web.
- It acts as an indicator of the health of the mountain ecosystem in which they live.
- In total, there are about 7,500 snow leopards left in the world, out of which 500 are in India.
- They are found in the Higher Himalayan and trans-Himalayan landscape in J&K, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Arunachal Pradesh.
- Snow Leopard’s capital of the world is Hemis, Ladakh.
- The existence of these animals is threatened because of reduction in prey populations, illegal poaching and increased human population infiltration into the species habitat and illegal trade of wildlife parts and products.
About Black-necked cranes:
- Black-necked cranes (Grus nicricollis), considered loyal couples, are only found in Ladakh’s Changthang region in India.
- It is evaluated as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Note: It was the State bird of J&K before August 5, 2019.
- Ladakh is a region administered by India as a union territory, and constituting a part of the larger region of Kashmir, which has been the subject of dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since 1947.
- Until 2019, Ladakh was a region of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
- In August 2019, the Parliament of India passed an act by which Ladakh became a union territory on 31 October 2019.
- The capital of Ladakh is Leh, Kargil.
- The current Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh is Radha Krishna Mathur.