SIKKIM- Flora & Fauna
Sikkim’s local name “Denzong”
translates as the Valley of Rice which is the chief crop of the state.
Basically, this Himalayan wonderland can be divided into three zones-the
tropical, temperate and the alpine.
Sikkim’s orchids are world famous as the state has more than 450 species
of them. The colour range from the richest to the palest in species as
varied as Cymbidiums, Vandas, Cattleyas, Dendrobiums, Hooheriana, Farmeri
and Amoneum. The state flower is the Noble orchid of the Dendrobium
family. There are about 36 species of rhododendrons in Sikkim found at
height of 10,000 ft. Their variety is as diverse as the sizes and colours.
From the giant rhododendron Crande (over 40 ft) to the rhododendron Crande
(a few inches off the ground), and from the blood red to pale white. The
delicate but hardy Primulae are found at heights of 12,000 ft and above.
The Himalayan rhubarb is a unique feature of this area, standing upright
like candelas in the arid vast.
The state has more than 500 species of avifauna ranging from the majestic
Bearded Vulture with a wing-span of over 10 ft to the Olive Ground
Warbler. Other delightful species include the Emerald Dove, woodpeckers,
cuckoos, kingfishers and the fairy blue bird. Sikkim also has more than
600 species of Butterflies, many of them are rare and endangered. The
forests resound to the bark of the Barking Deer which shares its habitat
with the adorable little Red Panda (also the state animal). The Musk Deer,
Leopard cats and flying squirrels to name a few. The higher regions have
blue Sheep known commonly as the Bharal, the Shapi which is similar to the
Himalayan Tahr, the Tibetan Wild Ass, locally known as the Kyang and the
Himalayan Black Bear.