Changthang Cold Desert Wildlife Sanctuary

Changthang Cold Desert Wildlife Sanctuary

The Changtang Wildlife Sanctuary is home to many rare species of flora and fauna, which are well cared for in this wildlife sanctuary. The sanctuary is located at high altitude in the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir. The Changtang Wildlife Sanctuary is surrounded by two large and world-famous water lakes, the Tsomoriri and the Pangong Tso. The Changtang Wildlife Sanctuary has natural grasslands and a wide variety of more than 200 species of wild plants grow in the higher pastures of this area, most of which is edible for animals. The Changtang Wildlife Sanctuary (or the Changtang Cold Desert Wildlife Sanctuary) is a high altitude wildlife sanctuary located in the Ladakhi adjunct of the Changtang plateau in the Leh District, Jammu and Kashmir. It is important as one of the few places in India with a population of the kiang or Tibetan wild ass, as well as the rare black-necked crane. The Changtang Cold Desert Wildlife Sanctuary is part of the Hindu Kush Himalaya, the natural enchantress. The altitude of the sanctuary varies from 4,300 to 5,800 metres (14,000 to 19,000 ft), and the topography is formed of deep gorges and vast plateaus. There are around 11 lakes and 10 marshes in the Changtang Cold Desert Sanctuary, and the majestic Indus River flows through the sanctuary, dividing it into two parts. The cold desert vegetation of this wildlife sanctuary is sparse but the marginal conditions have resulted in species with some remarkable characteristics. Seven rare and endangered plants which some believe have medicinal properties were discovered here by C.P. Kala. Three of these species are listed as vulnerable and one as endangered on the IUCN Red List (Arnebia euchroma, Geranium sibiricum, Lancea tibetica, Lloydia serotina, and Ephedra gerardiana).

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