The Himalayan region, with its diverse climatic conditions, is home to many uncommon, endemic and endangered species of flora and fauna.

The number of plant species in the Himalaya is estimated at 25,000 – 10% of the world’s known species and 50% of India’s endemic flora. This includes 7,020 species of fungi, 1,159 species of lichen and 2,000 species of bryophytes (including mosses and worts), with the remainder ferns, angiosperms (flowering plants) and other species.

Caltha palustris (click to enlarge)

Caltha palustris (click to enlarge)

Amongst the fauna are 218 species of fish, 74 species of amphibian, 149 species of reptile, 528 species of bird and 241 species of mammal. The animal life of the Himalaya is distinctly different from that of the plains.

The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) itself boasts 832 plant species, representing 128 families and 427 genera, and comprising 26% of the total flora of Himachal Pradesh. These include 794 angiosperm species, 11 gymnosperm species (pines, conifers and cypresses) and 27 fern species.

Biodiversity surveys of GHNP in the past decade have identified 31 mammal species, 209 bird species, 12 reptile species, nine amphibian species and 125 insect species.