Wildlife in Sikkim – Despite the smallest area in the entire country, the range of wildlife in Sikkim yet covers a wide spectrum. Owing to its altitude varying from sea level to the sky touching summits, the flora and fauna in Sikkim ranges from Tropical to the Alpines. Splendid riches in botanical and zoological resources of Sikkim are evident by its possession of more than 4000 species of plants and 30% of the birds found in the Indian sub-continent. This naturally contributes towards Sikkim’s popularity as a dream destination of the naturalists.
The southern region of Sikkim experiences a tropical climate conducive for the farming of figs, laurel, Sal trees and bamboos. The regions falling between the altitudes of 5000 to 13,000 feet are characterized by a temperate climate. This causes thick forests of Oak, Chestnut, Maple, Birch, Alder, Magnolia and Silver Fir to dominate the region. Juniper, Cypresses and Rhododendrons are found in abundance in the alpine zone above 13000 feet which is further supplemented by a perpetual snowline above 16000′. This lavish forest cover in Sikim is about 36% of its land. Home to over 600 species of orchids including epiphytal and terresterial types, Sikkim has about 35 species of rhododendrons. Sikkim is at its colorful best from May to August with all these plants blooming with vibrant flowers.
In conjunction with its thick forests and a salubrious climate, the state of Sikkim is an ideal habitat of some of the rarest species of mammals in the world. Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Red panda, Musk Deer and Blue Sheep are the main inhabitants of the state. An abundant birdlife also adds another colorful plume in the beauteous feather of Sikkim Wildlife. Giant Lammergeier, Vultures, Eagles, Whistling Thursh, Minivets, Bulbuls and Pheasants along with some migratory birds are a delight to the bird lovers. More than 550 species of birds can be seen in Sikkim.
Kanchenjunga National Park : A yet unexplored and virtually undisturbed wilderness still finds place in the heavenly state of Sikkim in the form of the Kanchendzonga National Park. Situated in the northern region of the state, on the highest elevation range of 1829 to 8585 meters, the park is spread over a sprawling area of 850 sq. km.
Wildlife Sanctuaries in Sikkim : Spread over a sprawling area of 5,200 hectares, the Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary at Sikkim is just 15 kms from Gangtok. With one of its boundaries bordering the Tashi Viewpoint, it supports a wide array of birds and butterflies. Leopards, Red Pandas, Civet cats and the Himalayan Black Bear also find refuge here.