The Kashmir Valley has been fabled down the ages for its natural beauty. It has best been described as an emerald set in pearls, with the emerald representing the lush, fertile Kashmir Valley and pearls for the lofty snow-clad Himalayan peaks that encircle it. Kashmir's enormous habitat diversity supports an equally rich and unique biodiversity, making Kashmir a biological paradise. Unfortunately it's environment is being seriously degraded by the combined onslaught of violence, pollution, global warming and habitat destruction due to human encroachment, unplanned tourism and deforestation.





The State of Jammu & Kashmir is home to 75 mammal species, belonging to 54 genera, 21 families and 8 orders. Carnivores represent 32% of the total mammalian fauna in the state. Of the 19 species of the ungulates reported from the state, 13 have been listed as globally threatened.

Birds form the largest group followed by mammals, reptiles, fishes and amphibians. The avian diversity of the state varies seasonally and available data suggests the existence of as many as 358 species of birds belonging to 179 genera, 51 families under 16 orders. The state is home to 14 species of amphibians belonging to 6 genera, 5 families and 1 order, and 68 species of reptiles belonging to 43 genera, 12 families and 2 orders.

The available data suggests that 44 species of fishes belonging to 14 genera under 5 families occur in the state. The available data also reveals that as many as 225 species of insects, besides several sub-species, belonging to 136 genera, 35 families and 4 orders occur in the state.

"We have not inherited the world from our parents, merely borrowed it from our children"
- Native American wisdom

          In a recent newspaper article, a learned professor of the natural sciences pointed out the very real danger that we may fail to pass on our biological heritage to our own children and grand-children as wholesome and intact as we have received it from our parents and grand-parents. My own efforts to create a project of this magnitude were kick-started by the realisation that my two sons could immediately identify an alien species like a Hornbill or Flamingo from a photograph in a book but could not identify the liquid-voiced and brilliantly-colored Golden Orioles [Posh-Nool ] nesting in our garden. From its modest beginnings, our first internet project - the Birds of Kashmir website - went on to receive international recognition and is linked to several of the leading avian databases on the internet. The natural follow-up effort is the Wildlife of Kashmir website attempting to document the wildlife of Kashmir in the same format.

More information is available on the About this Website page.


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