As a small boutique resort in Palampur, we at Rakkh have always been friends of the forests and its denizens. The multitude of wildlife that makes these hills their homes is something that locals are proud of and strive to protect.
There are a wide variety of endemic species of fauna, some that are found nowhere else as well, some of which are under threat from urbanization and habitat loss, or poaching. However, thanks to the combined efforts of researchers and the state wildlife authorities, there are conservation projects that are going a long way towards helping sustain the future of our beloved wildlife.
The Western Tragopan, for instance, is one of the key species of pheasants in Himachal Pradesh. Being the state bird, it is close to the heart of the people here. With fewer than 3000 individuals in the state, it is also a vulnerable species: It is constantly subjected to threats of poaching and habitat loss. Thanks to conservation efforts, there is now a breeding centre specifically for Western Tragopans. The state has successfully managed to release 6 captively bred pheasants into the wild. These small yet significant efforts will go a long way in maintaining populations of the renowned “Jujurana”!
Higher in the mountains, Snow Leopards are another keystone species of Himachal. These beautiful big cats have an aura of mystery and solitude that researchers have never been able to fully understand to this date. Unfortunately, they also fall prey to poachers for their pelts, or to farmers for killing livestock. It was then that the state government, along with the Nature Conservation Foundation, announced Project Snow Leopard. A field station was set up to study these felines. For the first time, snow leopards were being radio-collared to be monitored.
Efforts like these are a tremendous show of support for the wildlife that we live in harmony. We take this moment to salute the Himachal Pradesh state government, the various researchers involved in these efforts and the local communities that are the backbone of these efforts!