Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife Sanctuaries
Wildlife Sanctuaries in Jammu and Kashmir are abundant owing to the region’s unique geographical aspects, topography, vegetation, and climate that allow wildlife, plants and trees to fully flourish. Nature enthusiasts and bird watchers are offered with varied viewing and photography delights with the added view of the stunning Himalayan Ranges as your backdrop including the mountain foothills and plains that are equally home to a diverse variety of flora and fauna of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Wildlife Sanctuaries of Jammu & Kashmir also feature some of the best known animals that are found in this region such as the Bharal, Brown Bear, Common Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Kashmir Stag, Langurs, Markhor, Musk Deer, Red Fox, Shapu, Snow Leopard, and the Yellow-throated Marten. Bird species include the Black Bulbuls, Black Eagles, Cinnamon Sparrows, Golden Eagles, Griffon Vultures, Hobby or Falcons, Kestrels, Lammergeyers or Bearded Vultures, Himalayan Monal Pheasants, and the Black and Yellow Grosbeak.
Jammu and Kashmir is home to a number of Wildlife Sanctuaries that include the Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve, Jasrota Wildlife Sanctuary, Nandini Wildlife Sanctuary, Ramnagar Wildlife Sanctuary, Surinsar – Mansar Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Overa Wildlife Sanctuary that were established with the main purpose to serve as a sanctuary and natural habitat for the many endemic, migratory and endangered flora and fauna species of J&K State.
Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve
Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve is situated 48 kms southwest of Srinagar, the capital city of J&K and captures an area of 180 square kms perched at a height ranging between 2,400 and 4300 meters above sea level. This sanctuary envelopes a wealth of flora and fauna species and therefore is highly recommended for ornithologists. It features a rich vegetation life that comprises primarily of conifers that covers over 90% of the sanctuary area.
Jasrota Wildlife Sanctuary
Jasrota Wildlife Sanctuary is situated to the north of Jasrota village beside the Ujh River bank making this region apt for endemic and migratory birds to feed and breed as well. This Sanctuary spans over 10.04 square kms of area which is primarily dominated by bamboo plantations and is home to a variety of flora, fauna and bird species of which the most notable ones are the Cheetal or Axis Deer species.
Nandini Wildlife Sanctuary
Situated about 26 kms from Jammu, the Nandini Wildlife Sanctuary spans over a decent area of 33 square kms and is named after the Nandini village where it is placed. This Sanctuary is distinguished by stunning scenic beauty and varied topography that adds to your wildlife expedition experience and is home to a massive variety of rare and endangered species of birds and 8 mammal species as well.
Ramnagar Wildlife Sanctuary
Ramnagar Wildlife Sanctuary is situated at a trekking distance of 6 kms from the main city of Jammu and spans over an appreciable area of measuring 31 square kms and perched at an altitude ranging between 430 and 611 meters above sea level. This Wildlife Reserve homes about 15 bird species and 8 mammal species as well that adds to the diverse flora and fauna of this region.
Surinsar - Mansar Wildlife Sanctuary
A visit to Jammu and Kashmir Wildlife Sanctuaries is sure to bring home that there is actually a heaven on earth typified by Jammu, Kashmir Valley and Ladakh as well. This incredible reality dawns upon all who visit the famous Surinsar - Mansar Wildlife Sanctuary that is renowned for its charming and quixotic surroundings, and a wealth of flora and fauna species showcased in reserves of the Surinsar - Mansar Wildlife Sanctuary thus attracting large groups of ardent admirers to its abode every year.
Overa Wildlife Sanctuary
The Overa Wildlife Sanctuary is located approximately 76 kms to the south-east of Srinagar and close to Pahalgam in Kashmir. This Wildlife Sanctuary is distinguished by its scenic mountainous landscapes and surrounding grass-laden hills featuring deep and verdant valleys. Capturing an area of 33 square kms, the Overa Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse selection of flora where conifers grow to the maximum and features 13 rare mammal species and over 80 bird species making it ideal for bird-viewing aficionados.