Photo Friday: Endangered Species of the Melting Himalayas

Posted by on Dec 2, 2016

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The Himalayas, located between the Indian subcontinent and the Tibetan Plateau, is among the world’s best known mountain ranges, but the region is rapidly melting as a result of climate change. This has life-threatening consequences for the diverse wildlife and people who call the mountains home.

Animals native to the Himalaya range include the critically endangered red panda, Himalayan brown bear, snow leopard and tahr, to name just a few. Many of these species are gradually dwindling in number as their habitats are impacted by humans, rising temperatures and glacial melt.

In 2012, for example, the World Wildlife Fund found that 30 percent of snow leopard habitat in the Himalayas may be lost to treeline shift as a result of warmer and wetter conditions, with only an estimated 4,000 snow leopards still left in the wild. The increase in temperature has caused the glaciers in the snow leopard’s habitat to recede, affecting permafrost, precipitation and water resources. Pakistan’s Minister of Climate called the snow leopard a “thermometer of the health of the mountain ecosystem.”

GlacierHub hopes you will marvel at this collection of photos from the Himalayas, featuring wildlife that may very well soon be lost to climate change.

 

Himalayas

A bird’s eye view of the Himalayas (Source: Balathasan Sayanthan/Creative Commons).

 

 

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A critically endangered Himalayan brown bear (Source: Zahoor Ahmed/Creative Commons).

 

 

A Snow leopard as seen in the wild (Source: Creative Commons).

A Snow leopard as seen in the wild (Source: NCF India/Snow Leopard Trust).

 

 

snowleopard

A Snow leopard in captivity (Source: Steve Maskell/Creative Commons).

 

 

A glacial lake in the Himalayas, with glacial melt from the Ngozumpa glacier (Source: Doug Scobie/Creative Commons).

A glacial lake in the Himalayas, with glacial melt from the Ngozumpa glacier (Source: Doug Scobie/Creative Commons).

 

 

Glacial melt of Thulagi glacier in the Himalayas (Source: DFID/Creative Commons).

Glacial melt of Thulagi glacier in the Himalayas (Source: DFID/Creative Commons).

 

 

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The Himalayan tahr meets two red pandas (Source: Brigitte E/Creative Commons).

 

 

A red panda in captivity (Source: Jason Barles/Creative Commons).

An endangered red panda in captivity (Source: Jason Barles/Creative Commons).

 

 

himalayan-snowcock

The Himalayan Snowcock, the national bird of Pakistan (Source: Desi Nagar).

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