Ladakh’s New State animal and State bird

Ladakh adopted two endangered species, snow leopard and black-necked crane, as its State animal and State bird respectively on September 1, 2021.

Key Points

  • Ladakh adopted these species two years after it was separate Union created as a separate Union Territory (UT) from the erstwhile State of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K).
  • Snow leopard and black-necked crane are the designated State animal and State bird respectively from the date of issue of the notification.

Black-Necked Crane

Black-necked Crane are scientifically known as Grus nigricollis. It is a medium-sized crane found in Asia. It breeds on the Tibetan Plateau and remote parts of India & Bhutan. The crane is 139 cm long with a wingspan of 235 cm and weighs of 5.5 kg. It is whitish-grey in colour along with a black head, red crown patch, white patch to the rear of eye, black upper neck & legs. Some of its populations are known to make seasonal movements. It is respected in Buddhist traditions and is culturally protected in much of its range. In India, Black-necked crane are only found in Ladakh region. It was the State bird of J&K before it was made a UT in 2019.  It is an endangered species.

Snow leopard

Snow leopard is scientifically called as Panthera uncia. It is a felid of genus Panthera and is native to the mountain ranges in Central and South Asia. It has been listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List as its global population is lesser than 10,000 mature individuals. It is expected to decline by 10% by 2040. Poaching and habitat destruction are the biggest threat to them.

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