In addition to the scenic beauty of the lakes and the mountains, Sikkim is known for the maximum splendour that owns the loaded flora and fauna of Sikkim. Located in the natural beauty spot of the lower Himalayan foothills, Sikkim is considered to be amongst the three beautiful ecoregions of India.
Flora & Fauna of Sikkim At A Glance.
A small portion of the domain of India covers the state’s fauna in Sikkim. Moreover, the prime reason could be the weather that remains quite favourable for the vegetation that offers priority to flora and fauna in Sikkim.
Sikkim is a state in the northeastern part of India where the borders of Tibet crosses the north and then the northeastern part of Bhutan in the east. It also has some parts in West Bengal. It is therefore a part of Eastern Himalaya notable for the biodiversity that came to be known as Sikkim.
Over 40% of all the birds found in the Indian subcontinent are no wonder for Sikkim. Hence this place has been a dream of naturalists like that of Dr JD Hooker in the middle of the last century who surveyed in detail the botanical wealth in Sikkim. This was also found embodied in the Himalayan Journal.
History Behind Sikkim?
Sikkim was founded by the Namgyal dynasty. This was way back in the 17th century when Sikkim was crowned with its name. The kingdom was ruled by Khangchendzonga National Park. The king was a priest-king and followed Buddhism. His name was Chogyal.
Due to the altitude and its shift, Sikkim possesses an extensive range of plants along with foliage that provides a great place. This in turn helps in exploring the areas for naturalists. In this blog post readers will get complete guidance on the fauna of Sikkim.
Fauna In Sikkim?
It is said that Sikkim boasts of having not less than 550 species of birds and out of them most of them are recognized to be highly rare in other parts of the world. Apart from species of plants, there are multiple different species that can make things more suitable.
It is in the woods in Sikkim that provide a favourable abode of diverse and wide-ranging fauna of Sikkim. The animal kingdom consists of snow leopard, red panda, Himalayan tahr, Himalayan marmot, serow, barking deer, goral, langur, leopard cat, and Himalayan black bear.
In addition to these animals, there are a wide collection of wild dogs, including Tibetan wolf, binturong, jungle cat, badger Hog, wolf and many more. Some of them are endangered.
Although a small area yet Sikkim is considered to be one of the top places where animals and species of birds can breathe freely without any fear of getting trapped.
Animals that form the Avifauna of Sikkim are impeyan pheasant, snow partridge, snow cock, griffon vultures, crimson horned pheasant, quail, plovers, butterfly, leopard cats, pigeons, old world flycatchers, Babblers, marbled cat, dhole, Tibetan wolf and Robins.
There are over 696 species of butterflies available in different species. There are 1438 in total all over the world. Moreover, Kaiser-i-Hind, Bhutan Glory and Yellow Gorgon are considered to be some of the top endangered species of butterflies that are still found to fly with bright and colourful wings in Sikkim.
Sikkim’s richness of zoological and botanical collections is quite awe-inspiring. It boasts of over 4000 species, out of which 35% of all the birds are found in the Indian subcontinent. There is a record of 550 species of birds recorded in Sikkim with the emerald cuckoo, ashy woodpecker, and sultan tit like the Ruddy Shelduck.
Fishes are also mentioned in this context. There are over 45 species of different kinds of fish available. It includes trout, salmon, and carp. Fishing is allowed with permission only. There are 40 species of reptile kingdom. It includes the types of lizards, snakes, cobras and krait. Some of them are endangered and rare.
Needless to say that Sikkim has been a dream of naturalists to explore at their best. There are over 400 species of butterflies in the regions of Sikkim that are declared endangered. Emerald dove, fairy dove, kingfisher, ashy woodpecker, and sultan tit are also found in this region of Sikkim.
Due to the high altitude that varies from the sea level to summits that touch the skies, the flora and fauna naturally cover the wide spectrum. There are multiple varieties of birds found in the Indian forests. Nowhere in this world are such a wide variety of flora and fauna found in a small area.
Tropical to the Alpine zone lies Sikkim’s botanical and zoological richness with awe-inspiring and boasting of 4000 types of species at a time. Common langur, snow partridge is one of them. There are lovely sanctuaries in West Sikkim with an area of almost 105 sq km. It is surrounded by multiple lakes in Sikkim.
Not only the diversity of the plants there are varieties in the animal kingdom as well. Amongst the mammals of Sikkim are the rare animals like musk deer, flying squirrel, shape, snow leopard, common langur, red panda, blue sheep and Himalayan black bear.
The shape is an endangered animal right now which is on the verge of extinction. Red Panda lives mostly on treetops. Himalayan Bears roam around in the temperate forest of Sikkim. They eat corn, wild plants and honey. The snow leopard is a mythical animal which is sighted between 5000 feet and 18500 feet. Yaks are seen at an altitude of 10000 feet and can survive on alpine shrubs for food.
Flora In Sikkim?
Set against the beautiful backdrop of the Himalayas, Sikkim is well-known for the great flora of the region. The place is popular in the region and is diverse. The abundant flora and fauna cover the exotic plant species like Rhododendron appeals to multiple nature lovers.
In addition to this, Sikkim can be basically divided into three zones. The tropical region starts from almost sea level to about 5000 feet, the temperate region starts from 5000 to 11,000 feet. The alpine region starts from 11,000 feet.
Starting from 10,000 feet, there are terraced farmlands where you will find rice, barley, maize and millet to grow. Beyond this, there are other crops like cardamoms, oranges, apples, potatoes and ginger to be grown in the state. In the lower altitudes, you will find the south harbour jungle cats, mongoose, sparrows, and many other animals.
The jungles in the southern part include teeming with tree ferns, medicinal plants, species as varied as cymbidiums, world-famous as the state tree, farmers and ammonium, delicate but hardy primula that are blood red to pale white with the wildlife experience.
Orchid is the name that rules the flora of Sikkim. This flower of Sikkim grows best in the temperate climate. You will be able to spot 40 species of flowers at a time. The Nobile Orchid has been declared the state flower of Sikkim. The most popular orchids of Sikkim are Vanda, Cattleya, Hookeriana, Farmer, and Amoenum.
The state flower of Sikkim, the dendrobium nobile orchid, usually grows on the branches of trees. These flowers are light to deep purple with a notable dark centre with a velvety feel. Cymbidiums also belong to the family of orchids. In the temperate region, the flora comprises oak, chestnut, birch, alder, magnolia and silver fir.
Sikkim is the first state in India to achieve a proud number of 600 species with moderate altitude. They come in a wide variety of colours and sizes. And, out of which 36 species of rhododendron form a good collection.
Blue sheep and blood pheasant are also found in this part of Sikkim where the area is arid cold alpine regions of Sikkim. They roam in the cold alpine regions of Sikkim. There are about 550 species of birds available in this part of Sikkim. At almost a height of 11000 feet, the Rhododendron Nivale grows barely a few inches just above the ground.
When we talk about the treeless altitude above 14500 feet, there are curious types of flowers during the summer just a few inches from the ground level. These blossom during the summer season mostly. The stones and the rocks also cover the lichens and the mosses in a very colourful and amorphous pattern.
The flora in this part of the state comprises silver fir, chestnut, maple, birch, alder, magnolia and many more. The flowers are seen to bloom between the months of April and May. It is a sight that beholds the hillsides that become shrouded in colour. The treeless height offers flowers in colours which make it violet, blue and red.
Is it safe to visit Sikkim in the upcoming weeks or months?
Yes, it is safe to visit Sikkim in the upcoming weeks and months. As suggested by the experts, the best time to visit Sikkim’s natural beauty is in the summer months. Before everything, do not forget to register at the forest and wildlife check posts for more safety.
If you want to experience snowfall in Sikkim, the winter months are the best time to pay a visit. The time of snowfall is between November and February. This is the peak time when a lot of places in Sikkim remain covered with snow all over.
Besides the summer season, it is best to visit in the months of October till mid-December. It is also safe to visit Sikkim now but you need to be very careful with the weather and itineraries that you carry along with you. Take proper permits and pay the prescribed fees before you enter restricted areas of Sikkim.
What is the best time to visit Sikkim?
Visiting Sikkim at any time of the year is worth the value of the money you will spend to explore the place. Apart from this, you can also enjoy snowfall in the high-altitude regions. Sikkim is open to tourists all year.
But as per the suggestion of the experts, the best time to visit Sikkim is between March and July. And, the next best time to visit is between October to mid-December. But snow lovers visit between December and February to watch snowfall in Sikkim.
Winter is the right time to visit Sikkim if you love snowfall in the region. Snow lovers will find the heaviest snowfall at Yumthang Valley, Gurudongmar Lake, Pelling and Lachung. The temperature in Sikkim in winter hovers from -5’C to -7’C making the weather extremely cold and unbearable.
What is the local language in Sikkim?
Nepalese and Bhutia are the main local languages in Sikkim. This was decided by the business of the assembly that the state of Sikkim. Besides these languages, Hindi, Lepcha, Sikkimese, Mukhia, Magar, Limbu, Newari, Rai, Sherpa, Tamang happen to be the official language of Sikkim. English is also preferred by the people here all over the state of Sikkim. And, they use it to be a part of their official language for further details.
What is the altitude of Sikkim?
Sikkim is located at a height of 7,096 sq. km with an altitude of 300m to 8589 meters above sea level. It is a wonderland that is blessed with the natural abundance that opens from icy cold deserts, lush green forests, emerald mountain lakes, and flowering alpine meadows.
Sikkim is the home to the finest places for high-altitude trekking in India. This is ever so scenic a destination that people love to visit again and again. Tourists who love trekking want to find comfort in conquering lofty peaks and their fears by trekking in the hills of the Himalayas.
Which lake of Sikkim has been recently declared the highest lake in India?
Gurudongmar Lake is crowned as one of the highest Indian lakes in the world. It is at an elevation of 5,450 m and 17,900 ft. This is according to the Government of Sikkim. The lake is located in the Greater Himalayas in the Mangan District in the Indian State of Sikkim.
People of India and Sikkim are considered to be sacred by Sikhs, Hindus and Buddhists. Another lake Cho-Lhamu lake is located over 18,000 ft above sea level in North Sikkim. It is also known as the highest lake in the region of Sikkim.
What Is The Definitive Wildlife Guide to Sikkim?
Sikkim’s botanical and zoological richness is widely in discussion all over the world, especially among ecologists and naturalists. The dense forests, mountains and hills of Sikkim are home to a huge variety of animals, species from musk deer, elusive snow leopards and red pandas.
The fauna in Sikkim is one of the greatest reasons why Sikkim tourism is still so popular among travellers and mountain lovers. Another fact is that Sikkim's orchids are world-famous for their wonderful colours, display and blossoms. When it comes to climate change, many species that are endangered are found here.
There are species of rhododendrons in Sikkim which are available all over. The colours range from the richest to the palest. There is also the availability of Tibetan wild ass in the forest of Sikkim. Moreover, there are 40 species of other animals all available from different parts of the country as well. Those who are birdwatchers must not miss visiting Lake Khecheolpari in West Sikkim, a state in India.
Biodiversity in Sikkim
Here they will love to explore varieties of flora and fauna along with the varieties of colourful birds at the same time. It is altogether a picture-perfect place. This forms in the alpine region of Sikkim. The giant rhododendron crane is also found in this region.
The Subtropical regions of Sikkim high are considered to be the home to the red panda, the great pied hornbill, chestnut breasted partridge and red junglefowl, wild boars, mountain pit vipers and the gaurs. The guar is considered as the hongraio with the golden jackal in addition to the group.
The Singalila Range also shares the border with the neighbouring country, Nepal. It is home to wildlife including Leopard cats, Himalayan Palm Civets, and Himalayan Langur amongst others. There are variegated species of colourful migratory birds. This attracts bird lovers and tourists all throughout the year. The primula is found at heights with the Himalayan rhubarb is a unique feature of this area.
The tropical species to temperate, alpine and tundra ones, with perhaps from tropical species to temperate, tundra ones, alpine. The world in such a small area offers great and specific features of diversity. The features offer candles in the arid vast. They are standing upright like candles and look like candles in the arid region.
About PTS-05 Project – Eco-Parks and Flora-Fauna of Sikkim
PTS-05 Project – Eco-Parks and Flora-Fauna of Sikkim are located in the ecological hotspot of the lower foothills of the Himalayas. It is one of the three forested regions of the state that exhibits a diverse range of flora and fauna.
The place has such diversity which is situated in the ecoregions of India. You will be surprised to see the huge diversity in flora as well as fauna. The topography of the place gives a fantastic topography and environment, ecology and environment of the system.
The 8 Most Popular Sanctuaries And National Parks In Sikkim
- Khangchendzonga National Park.
- Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Barsey Rhododendron Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary.
- Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary.
- Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Kitam (Bird) Wildlife Sanctuary.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sikkim Wildlife
Q1. When was Sikkim wildlife sanctuary established?
Ans1. Sikkim wildlife sanctuary was established in 1987. It is spread over an area of 14 sq km.
Q2. When is the best time to visit Sikkim?
Ans2. The best time to visit Sikkim is between March to May and between October to mid-December. Springtime is also worth visiting.
Q3. What is the local language of Sikkim?
Ans3. The local languages of Sikkim are Nepalese, Bhutanese, Hindi, English, Lepcha, Magar, Limbu, Newari and Tamang.
Q4. How can we go to Sikkim?
Ans4. We can take the direct flight to Bagdogra Airport (IXB) in West Bengal and then hire a taxi to Gangtok. Or else you can take the taxi to New Jalpaiguri (NJP) and then take the taxi to Gangtok. With the permits, you can enter Sikkim.
Q5. Where are the sites of pilgrimage in Sikkim?
Ans5. Ganesh Tok, Siddheswar Dham, Baba Harbhajan Singh Mandir, and Shevok Kali Mandir are the places of pilgrimages and worship across Sikkim.
Q6. Can One issue a permit for Nathula Pass online from the hometown?
Ans6. There are no such updates regarding online permits in future. One can issue a permit while reaching Gangtok.