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The Himalayas comprise several habitats and concurrently multiple zoo-geographic regions. These habitats are home to a wide variety of mammals, birds and reptiles. Some are endemic to particular zoo-geographic zones, while others are found across the entire range. The Tibetan wild ass is thus limited to the upper reaches of the western Himalayas, while the one-horned rhino is found only in the foothills of the eastern Himalayas. The snow leopard is a resident of the very high altitudes in the western and eastern Himalayas; the leopard though is found all through the range. Some of the species are also migratory in nature, moving with the seasons – remaining at higher altitudes during the summer and autumn months, climbing down to lower altitudes with the onset of winter. The Himalayan Fauna database showcases some of the rare and beautiful faunal species of the Himalayan region.
Species: Ailurus fulgens
Common Name: Lesser Panda, Red Panda, Red Cat-bear, Fire Fox
Local Name: Nigalya Ponya (Nepali), Oakdonga (Bhotia), Sankam (Lepcha)
The red panda is often referred to as the “lesser panda” to differentiate it from the better-known giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). It is the only species of its kind in the world, with no close living relatives, unique in its behavior and specialized in its habitat requirements. Much smaller than the giant panda and slightly larger than the domestic cat, it...
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Species: Anser indicus
Common Name: Bar-headed Goose
Local Name: Hans, Raj hans (Hindi), Nangpa, Ngang-kar (Ladakhi)
  The bar-headed goose is one of the world’s highest-flying birds. It is a pale grey bird with brownish-grey body and white under-parts. The two black bars crossing the nape give the bird its name. The face and neck are white while the legs and bill are orange. The adult is 71-75 cm in length and has a wingspan of about 170 cm. Sexes are alike, though the males...
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Species: Bos mutus
Common Name: Yak
Local Name: Brong dong (Tibetan), Ban chour (Hindi)
The scientific name of wild yak is Bos mutus while the domesticated form of this animal is called Bos grunniens. The coat of the yak is dense, wooly and extremely shaggy, although the colour may differ in domestic yaks. ‘Golden’ wild yaks are also known but they are very rare. Shoulders of the yak are high and humped and it has a broad, drooping head. The legs are...
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Species: Buceros bicornis
Common Name: Great hornbill, greater Indian hornbill, two-horned calao, concave casqued hornbill, large pied-hornbill
Local Name:
  The great hornbill, the state bird of Arunachal Pradesh, is one of the largest of the hornbills. It can reach upto 95-120 cm in length (inclusive of tail) with a wingspan of 152 cm and a weight of 2-4 kg. The prominent identifying feature of the species is the large yellow and black hollow casque (helmet like structure) on its large heavy beak running up to the...
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Species: Camelus ferus/bactrianus
Common Name: Bactrian camel, two-humped camel
Local Name: Havtagai (Mongolian), Wildkamel (German), Jya nishpa yapung (Ladakhi)
The scientific name of the wild Bactrian camel is Camelus ferus, while the domesticated form is called Camelus bactrianus. The distinctive feature of the animal is that it is two-humped whereas the Dromedary camel has a single hump. DNA tests have revealed that there are two or three distinct genetic differences and about 3% base difference between the wild and domestic...
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Species: Capra sibirica
Common Name: Siberian Ibex, Asiatic ibex, Himalayan ibex
Local Name:
The Siberian ibex derives its name from Latin (capra = she-goat, siberica = of Siberia) and is the largest member of the genus Capra. The individuals vary in size (80-150 cm) with the females being slighter longer and can weigh 35-130 kg, with females being much lighter than male members. Though the typical colouration of the Siberian ibex is light tan, with mature members...
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Species: Cuon alpinusa
Common Name: Tibetan wild dog
Local Name: Dhole (Hindi), Ramkum (Kashmiri), Rang kukur (Assamese), Farra (Ladakhi), Huithou (Manipuri), Ban kukur (Bhutanese), Phara (Tibetan)
Dhole is a species of wild dog of the Canidae family, also known as the Asiatic Wild Dog, Indian wild dog, red dog and the whistling hunter (due to the whistling sound it can make). Dholes of the Himalayan region are also referred to as Tibetan wild dog. Within the family, the Dhole is placed in a genus of its own and has been a distinct species for several million years. The...
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Species: Grus nigricolliss
Common Name: Black-necked crane
Local Name: Cha Thung-thung (Ladakh)
The black-necked crane, Grus nigricollis, also known as the Tibetan crane, is a tall lanky bird, around 135 cm long, with a wingspan of 2-2.5 m and a weight of 6-8 kg. It is a whitish-gray crane with black head, neck, and tail plumage. It has dark grey legs, a red crown patch, a white patch to the rear of the yellow eyes and very well developed secondaries. The primaries and...
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Species: Gyps himalayensis
Common Name: Himalayan Griffon, Himalayan Vulture, Kumai Vulture, Snow Griffon, Snow Vulture
Local Name: Thankar (Ladakhi)
The Himalayan griffon is an Old World vulture belonging to the family Accipitridae, which also includes eagles, buzzards, kites and hawks. The species is closely related to the European Griffon (Gyps fulvus). It is a huge bulky creature, about 115-122 cm in length, and 7-10 kg in weight. The wingspan is around 260 cm. The head and upper neck are covered with soft white down...
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