Srinagar: The Ladakh administration has declared snow leopard as new ‘state animal’ and black-necked crane as ‘state bird’ two years after the UT was split from the erstwhile J&K State.
A notification to this effect has been issued by the Principal Secretary, Forest, Ecology and Environment department on behalf of Lieutenant Governor, Ladakh, R K Mathur.
The snow leopard (Panther unica) and black –necked crane (Grus nicricollis) shall be the state animal and state bird respectively from the date of issue of the notification.
Pertinently, the black-necked crane, which was also the state bird of erstwhile state of J&K, is endemic in Ladakh. The mountainous region of the western and eastern Himalayas is the habitat of the big cat/snow leopard in India.
Hangul was the state animal of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir which also comprised Ladakh.
Wildlife experts say that the state bird and state animal are chosen from the unique flora and fauna in the particular state and UT, and represent the culture and the natural wonders of that particular State/UT.
In December 2020, the Wildlife Conservation and Birds Club of Ladakh (WCBCL), an NGO working for the preservation of wildlife in the region, called on Lieutenant Governor R.K. Mathur at the Raj Bhawan. The delegation had strongly sought naming the black-necked crane as the state bird and snow leopard as the state animal of Ladakh.