Nature guides are trained and waiting...
to help you identify...
Ladakh’s flora and fauna.
As a visitor you can have a unique opportunity to learn about Ladakh with village-based guides who are waiting to share their local knowledge of of Ladakhi wildlife and people, and show you the area’s stunning fauna and flora.
The Hemis High Altitude National Park where most of the guides live is an important habitat for mountain wildlife. About eleven mammal species have been recorded, most of which are threatened with extinction. The park is famous for its snow leopards, and for supporting four species of wild sheep and goats: ibex, bharal (blue sheep), Tibetan argali, and Ladakh urial.
Thirteen local men and women from seven villages in Ladakh and Zanskar participated in a nine-day training, with the objective of preparing them to serve as village-based nature guides. The training was sponsored by TMI, and SLC, and was facilitated by Nakul Chettri of the Natural Resource Management Programme with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), the Kathmandu-based regional institute dedicated to sustainable development in the Hindu Kush-Himalayas.
After three days of classes in Ladakh’s capitol town of Leh, five days were devoted to practice in the field. Even a seasoned biologist such as Nakul was struck by Ladakh’s beauty and diversity: While trekking, I felt that I was in wonderland of the Trans-Himalaya. Everything was new and exciting as we crossed the valley with beautiful landscape, rugged mountains and cascading streams.
Trainees identified many species of fauna and flora, as Nakul reports in Nature Guide Training Leh and Hemis National Park, Ladakh, India, 21st June – 29th June, 2003(pdf 384kb). They also learned the role and responsibilities of nature guides, how to prepare for high altitude trekking, and some do’s and dont’s for conservation, and the importance of wildlife monitoring.
Get in touch with the Homestay Coordinator, Overland Escape, to find out which villages have guides.
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