The Himalayas have a diverse variety of unique ecosystems. In order to take the most from your trip we recommend you to get some insight of this extraordinary place.
While walking in the countryside or climbing a hill in the Himalaya you may come across numerous wild flowers, brightening a hollow in a rock, or half hidden amidst the ferns which will make your outdoor experience especially rich. Stop and look at the wild flowers carefully and you will discover, a disarming beauty of their own. Many of them are also ancestors of the familiar garden flowers that we tend so enthusiastically.
The Himalaya is a treasure trove of flowers many of which grow all over the northern temperate zone too. Some of them are unique to the Himalayas while others are very alpine in character. The lower hills have a mixture of temperate and subtropical flora. The plains and the scrub deserts have distinctly different flowers, while hot and humid areas have flora that is specific to their condition.
The ability to identify wild flowers can transform a journey, walk or a drive into a voyage of discovery. Every shady nook, forest path or ditch becomes endowed with charm as you seek out its hidden cache of wild plants.
Knowing the flowers in one’s surroundings furthers a desire to know more about flowers whether near or far, and the need to save all the wild things that we have inherited on the earth. The fact that a rapidly growing population is threatening wild habitats is also connected with an awareness of nature and the need to preserve it.
Stretching almost 2,500km from east to west, the Himalayas is home to millions of people and hundreds of unique species. In the Eastern Himalayas alone there are some 10,000 types of plant, 750 species of bird and 300 species of mammal – many of them found nowhere else on the planet. Not to mention the region’s iconic, yet threatened species, including the:
Bengal tiger, Asian elephant, greater one-horned rhino, red panda, snow leopard, black-necked crane, Gangetic dolphin…
Mammals are not easily sighted. Encroachment on the forest cover by the human population has forced them to retreat into the protected zones, where their natural habitat is still preserved.
CLIMATE CHANGE & EFFECTS:
Climate change is a pressing issue. Nepal is one of the fourth most vulnerable countries in the world based on a 2010 vulnerability assessment. Adaptation to climate change must be of high priority; national attention to changing weather patterns is necessary in helping poor communities cope with and adapt to the many and unforeseeable consequences of climate change. In particular, watersheds in mountain regions are considered more vulnerable to risk of flooding, erosion, mudslides and glacial lake outburst floods.
The lives of all Himalayans are affected as their farms are decimated and crops are lost. As a result, climate change is altering the face of the Himalayas, devastating poor communities and making the high mountains including Mt. Everest increasingly treacherous to climb.
Many international organizations work for the preservation of the Himalayan environment and the support of the endangered communities living inside it. Check some of these below.