Sikkim, in addition with its mountains and lakes, has acquired its maximum splendor owing to its loaded flora and fauna. Located in a natural spot of the lower Himalayas, Sikkim is one amongst the three eco-regions of India. Sikkim has acquired a small portion in the domain of India, yet the state boasts of a rich variety of plants and animals. Perhaps, the main reason could be the weather that remains favorable for the vegetation. Due to the altitudinal shift, Sikkim possesses an extensive range of plants and foliage, providing a great place to explore for a naturalist. Read further to know about flora & fauna of Sikkim…
Sikkim has approximately 5,000 blossoming plants, 515 extraordinary orchids, 60 primula species, 36 rhododendron species, 11 oak varieties, 23 bamboo varieties, 16 conifer species, 362 types of ferns & ferns’ allies, 8 tree ferns and more than 424 medicinal plants. The Rhododendron is acclaimed to be the state tree. Sikkim boasts of a wide range of the species that grows in sub-tropical to alpine regions. In the lower altitudes, orchids, figs, laurel, bananas, sal trees and bamboo are traceable enjoying the subtropical climate. Above 1,500 meters (in temperate regions), oaks, chestnuts, maples, birches, alders and magnolias are found in large numbers. Under alpine-affected regions, juniper, pine, firs, cypresses and rhododendrons are quite common that happen to come across between the altitudes of 3,500 to 5 000 m. The official flower of Sikkim is Orchid Dendrobium Nobile.
The woods provide a favorable abode to the wide-ranging fauna of Sikkim. The animal kingdom comprises Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Bhoral, Himalayan Tahr, Red Panda, Himalayan Marmot, Serow, Goral, Barking Deer, Langur, Himalayan Black Bear, Clouded Leopard, Marbled Cat, Leopard Cat, Wild Dog, Tibetan Wolf, Hog Badger, Binturong, Jungle Cat and Civet Cat. In the alpine zone, one can easily find yaks that are generally nurtured for their milk, meat and as a beast to carry burden. The state treasures a large variety of arthropods too.
Sikkim boasts of not less than 550 species of birds and out of them, some are recognized to be rare and endangered. Impeyan Pheasant, Crimson Horned Pheasant, Snow Partridge, Snow Cock, Lammergeyer, Griffon Vultures, Golden Eagles, Quail, Plovers, Woodcock, Sandpipers, Pigeons, Old World Flycatchers, Babblers and Robins formulate the avifauna of Sikkim. Yet another group of fauna is that of butterflies. In Sikkim, 695 species of butterflies have been recorded, while Indian subcontinent has 1438 species on the whole. Kaiser-i-hind, Yellow Gorgon and Bhutan Glory are some of the endangered species of butterflies that are found in Sikkim.