Ladakh in the northwestern trans-Himalayan region is a land of rich biodiversity. It has remained closed to visitors for many years. Yet, during recent years, tourism has 'discovered' the land of scenic landscapes, unspoiled nature, and hospitable people. Due to its isolation and inaccessibility, serious research on Ladakh's fauna has started only recently. This book is a complete inventory of all bird and mammal species in the Ladakh region. It describes and illustrates the numerous species of birds and mammals, including their local names, alternative names, habitat, behaviour, status, and distribution. A total of 305 bird species has been reported from the Ladakh region, of which 34 species have not been sighted after 1960. Similarly, two of the 33 mammal species have not been seen for some time. Ladakh, like any other cold desert in the world, is a fragile ecosystem that can be easily spoiled by unimaginative planning and uncontrolled tourism. This book gives practical and specific suggestions on how to conserve the ecosystem and enjoy the region's beauty without destroying it.
Otto Pfister is former consultant at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of Switzerland.
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