24.1 C
New York
Sunday, July 3, 2022

The Definitive Wildlife Information to Sikkim

Attributable to encroachments, and local weather change, most of the species present in Sikkim are endangered or threatened. The lowland forests of Sikkim are residence to Sikkim’s largest reptile Burmese python, home geckos, the Himalayan crestless porcupine, the Chinese language pangolin, and barking deer.

A number of species of birds can be discovered right here — the nice pied hornbill regionally known as ‘hongraio’, chestnutbreasted partridge, the crimson junglefowl, and extra. Subtropical areas are residence to the crimson panda, crimson fox vulpes, the golden jackal, leopards, Asiatic black bear, palm civets, flying squirrels, wild boars, japalura lizards, cobras, kraits and mountain pit vipers. The gaur — one in every of India’s largest bovids — has been seen in Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary. Birdwatchers ought to head to Lake Khecheolpari in West Sikkim the place species such because the critically endangered baer’s pochard, aythya baeri and susceptible black-necked crane grus nigricollis have been noticed.

Sikkim’s temperate areas are residence to the crimson panda, langur, yellow-throated marten, the Asiatic black bear, Himalayan goral, the golden cat, endangered wild canine, clouded leopard, and the fire-tailed sunbird. And its alpine forests shelter the endangered alpine musk deer, threatened Himalayan tahr, blue sheep, and bright-red blood pheasants. The chilly deserts in north Sikkim are residence to the kiang or Tibetan wild ass, Tibetan argali, snow leopards, Eurasian lynx, Tibetan wolf and others.

Surveys have proven the presence of the elusive Pallas’s cat in Tso Lhamo Shutterstock

Moreover being one of many primal journey locations within the nation, Sikkim can be a super chook watching vacation spot. It has greater than 550 species of birds, a few of which have been declared endangered. Additionally, you will discover a wealthy range of butterflies too — about half the 1,400 butterfly species recorded in India are discovered right here, together with the magnificent, however endangered Kaiser-i-Hind, the Yellow Gorgon and the Bhutan Glory. You’ll be able to spot most of them within the 4 sanctuaries in Sikkim and on the Khangchendzonga Nationwide Park. 

Pink Panda

This chestnut-coloured, tree-dwelling mammal with pointed ears and bushy tail is the state animal of Sikkim and could be discovered on the coat of arms of the Sikkim Forest Division. They are often discovered within the deciduous broad leaf and coniferous forests of the japanese Himalayas, however World Wildlife Fund (WWF) stories say that these forests are steadily being cleared for timber extraction, agricultural growth and livestock grazing, and the species has been extensively hunted for its pelt—utilized in conventional hats and clothes throughout the border in China. Take a stroll round Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary and Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary to identify them.

Snow Leopard

Present in excessive altitude alpine and sub-alpine areas, this elusive animal has been captured on digital camera just a few occasions in northern and western Sikkim. However local weather change and presumably vanishing meals ecosystems has meant it’s being seen in decrease altitudes now. In January 2019, hidden cameras captured a snow leopard within the Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary in East Sikkim. A few 12 months earlier than that, a Bengal Tiger was noticed in the identical space. It’s a Schedule 1 animal and listed as ‘endangered’ by Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Yak herders and native guides within the excessive mountain valleys of Lachen have additionally been serving to in maintaining observe of

Snow leopards can be found in the Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve
Snow leopards could be discovered within the Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve Shutterstock

with the assistance of digital camera traps. As citizen scientists, they’ve additionally been documenting this animal after coaching with the WWF to determine the primary baseline depend for the (already low) native snow leopard inhabitants.

Wild Ungulates

The chilly desert area of Sikkim—just like the Tso Lhamo area—is residence to wild ungulates such because the Tibetan argali, Tibetan gazelle, kiang, and bharal or blue sheep in addition to the domesticated yak. Surveys have additionally proven the presence of the elusive Pallas’s cat. By the way, the bharal was additionally the main target of Peter Matthiessen’s 1973 expedition to Nepal documented by Matthiessen within the e-book, The Snow Leopard.

Blood Pheasant

The blood pheasant was the national bird of the former Kingdom of Sikkim, and remains Sikkim's state
The blood pheasant was the nationwide chook of the previous Kingdom of Sikkim, and stays Sikkim’s state chook. Shutterstock

That is the state chook of Sikkim. The identify comes from the vivid crimson colouring on the feathers of the breast, throat and brow of the males. Feminine birds are reddish brown, and in additional uniform tones. They are often present in coniferous or blended forests and scrub areas on the snowline. Throughout summers, they transfer to increased elevations, and in winter, they go all the way down to a lot decrease altitudes.


The Emperor of India — that’s what this beautiful butterfly is named. This uncommon species, colored in vivid yellows, shimmering greens, and subdued blacks, is discovered alongside the woods of Japanese Himalayas at medium and better elevations from 6,000ft to 10,000ft. Look as much as sot one because it flies at treetop stage. If there’s robust morning daylight, it could come all the way down to perch on decrease vegetation. One should go to Sikkim between the months of April and July to witness this attractive little creature.


Sikkim’s distinctive biodiverse panorama helps over 22 restricted-range chook species, together with not less than 19 species which can be endemic to the area and chook species that aren’t discovered anyplace else on the planet. Its distinctive place on the map signifies that, regardless of its small dimension, Sikkim, with over 550 species, has a birdlist that’s virtually as various as that of Bhutan or Nepal.

Because of the progressive conservation insurance policies of the federal government which can be supported by the extremely benign Buddhist non secular beliefs of locals, Sikkim has a really excessive share of its land below official safety as Protected Areas (PA) or Vital Hen Areas (IBA). The state offers authorized safety to essential chook habitats via a community of twenty-two IBAs and virtually an equal variety of PAs.

Khangchendzonga Nationwide Park

Trekking through the lush green forest of Kanchenjunga National Park in Sikkim
Trekking via the luxurious inexperienced forest of Kanchenjunga Nationwide Park in Sikkim Shutterstock

The biggest wildlife reserve in Sikkim has the third highest peak on the planet, the Khangchendzonga, straddling its western boundary and the huge Zemu glacier. It’s residence to the snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, Tibetan antelope, wild ass, barking deer, musk deer, flying squirrel and the crimson panda who stay in blissful isolation amongst large magnolias, rhododendrons and pine forests. A go to right here comes extremely recomended throughout your explorations of the state.

Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary

The temperate forest is residence to the crimson panda, leopard, black eagle and civet cat amongst different animals and birds discovered within the area. The three,263m excessive Maenam Peak additionally lies throughout the confines of the wildlife reserve.

Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary

Tucked between the Khangchendzonga Nationwide Park to the north and Singalila Nationwide Park to the south, Barsey/ Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary (10,000ft) in west Sikkim is thought for its trekking routes, mountain vistas, wildlife. Relying on the climate, normally between March and Might, the forest breaks right into a profusion of rhododendron (regionally often called guras) flowers. In keeping with many trekkers, when the crimson number of rhododendrons bloom collectively, they just about set the forest on fireplace. In case you are extraordinarily fortunate, it’s possible you’ll catch a glimpse of a bear or perhaps a uncommon crimson panda.

Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary

This one hosts a big number of birds and butterflies together with a inhabitants of leopards, crimson pandas, civet cats and the Himalayan black bear. The sanctuary can be residence to a lot of wild orchids and rhododendrons. It’s an important place to see a number of species of laughing thrush together with the redfaced liocichla Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary: This sanctuary is residence to a number of endangered species just like the crimson panda, musk deer, Himalayan black bear, serow (lengthy haired goat) and a few uncommon species of pheasants.


In South and West Sikkim, Pelling/Pemayangtse and close by villages have a number of fascinating birding trails price taking. Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary begins at about 200m and regularly rises to three,000m at Maenam Prime. This can be a good web site to look out for satyr tragopan, blood pheasants, rusty-bellied shortwing, amongst others. Khecheopalri Lake hosts many waterfowl in addition to being the wintering habitat of the black-necked crane.

In East Sikkim, Rumtek Gompa and Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary are wealthy in birdlife with most forest species being seen right here as properly. Tsomgo/Changu Lake (3,800m) and Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary (3,300m) could be explored by hardy birdwatchers for high-altitude Himalayan species.

In North Sikkim locations to go to embody Yumthang, Lachung/Lachen, Chungthang and Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary (2,900-4,300m).

For permits, examine with the Nationwide Park and Wildlife Sanctuary Allow Issued by Forest Division at Gangtok.

Don't miss out!
Subscribe To Newsletter

Don't Miss Ours New Travel News

Invalid email address
Give it a try. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected


Latest Articles