LEH LADAKH

Wildlife of Ladakh
The animal species of Ladakh have shown an excellent ecological adaptation and flourished at an altitude where men can hardly breathe. Travellers find the wildlife of Ladakh interesting both in terms of ecological specialisation and their occurrence in the remote regions of rugged Ladakh. The lower mountain slopes are sparse but higher up, near the snow line, wild rose, willow and herbaceous plants have successfully colonized the slopes. This is the alpine zone.

Animal Species in Ladakh
In this extremely harsh environment the untrained eye would hardly see any evidence of wildlife at all. Most creatures, notably the ungulates, do migrate to lower regions in winter while others, like the brown bear and marmots, choose to hibernate. Ironically, at this altitude many animals suffer from "mountain sickness" because of the lack of oxygen! Their bodies however, seem to adopt to this condition, as the number of red blood corpuscles increases along with blood acidity. Most large mammals have a unique devise for protection against the cold-- a highly insulated shaggy coat.

Yak or Wild Ox (Ladakhi: dong)
Yak(dong)-a wild ox is the largest animal found in Ladakh. and is definitely more imposing than its placid domestic counterpart. Immensely shaggy and weighing about a tone it has curved horns whose tips can be as wide apart as 90 cm. and measure 76 cm. over the curves. It can easily be distinguished by its long black hair, which is tinged with gray at the muzzle. Spending its summers at a height above 6,000 meters, in winter it moves in herds to the lakes, marshes and lower valleys.   Read More...