Six critical landscapes
Lahaul-Pangi (Himachal Pradesh)
This landscape forms the upper catchment of Chandrabhaga (Chenab) river and is flanked by Pir Panjal and Greater Himalayas in the south and north respectively. The mean elevation ranges from 3,000 – 5,500 m. The landscape area harbors scattered sub-alpine conifer forests. Alpine dry and moist scrub and Alpine mixed pastures also occur in the landscape. The snow leopard, brown bear, Asiatic black bear, blue sheep, Himalayan ibex, Himalayan tahr and Himalayan musk deer are the characteristic mammalian fauna.
The higher altitudes of Kinnaur district especially the alpine areas adjacent to Spiti and Raksham Chitkul represent important wildlife habitat, bio-corridors and junctions of biogeographic provinces.
This landscape lies in the upper catchments of river Ganges and Yamuna. Upper parts of Gangotri National Park lies in the cold arid region while outer flanks of Gangotri as well as Govind represent cool temperate and sub-alpine forests, alpine moist meadows and glaciated, extremely rugged and broken areas. Altitude of the landscape ranges from 3,000 to over 6,000 m. Mixed conifer forests of blue pine, deodar and birch are in sub-alpine areas. Within Gangotri landscape there are riverine scrub and dry alpine scrub that are replaced by alpine desert steppe. Typical faunal assemblages in this landscape include snow leopard, Himalayan must deer, blue sheep, goral, and black and brown bear.