Western Himalaya

Western Himalayas represent a vast landscape covering a large elevational gradient with its distinctive vegetation structure. The sub-montane regions at the Himalayan foothills and Shiwaliks with an elevation of 500-1000m are predominantly forested with Sal trees (Shorea robusta) and other mixed deciduous forests with small-flowered crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia parviflora), Indian rosewood (Dalbergia sissoo), axlewood (Anogeissus latifolia), and Terminalia spp. The mid-elevations areas from 1000-2000m are with mixed broadleaf and conifer forests. Beyond 3000m, the vegetation is dominated by alpine meadows. Above 4000m, the Western Himalayas are characterized by arid shrub-steppes found in Ladakh and Spiti. To cover this vast landscape, study sites were selected covering the Himalayan foothills to the subtropical and temperate forests in the state of Uttarakhand. This can be extended northwards into the arid shrub-steppes of Spiti in Himachal Pradesh to cover the entire range of Western Himalayan habitats.

Host Institution: Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, Uttrakhand

Primary field stations: Sawaldeh, Ramnagar, and Herbal Research Development Institute at Mandal