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Flora and Fauna in Sikkim

Climates of Sikkim is varies from south to north, it is some where low land in the south, but the mountainous regions in the north, there is a tropical climate. The altitude is very high and varies regularly, there has several mountain peaks. So, due to the climate, total Sikkim is covering with a wide verity of flora and fauna. Nowhere in the world in such a small area can one find flora and fauna of all varieties - Tropical to the Alpines.

Sikkim's botanical and zoological richness is awe- inspiring, boasting of more than 4000 species of plants and 30% of all the birds found in the Indian sub-continent. Sikkim's 600 varieties of orchids are a feast for the eye. Most of this beautiful and virgin area comes under the Khangchendzonga National Park.

Plants in Sikkim

Basically on the lowland of south, altitude between 800 to 5000 feet, terraced farming is experienced. There have rice, maize and barley as the main crops. Ginger, potatoes and oranges are also cultivated on that area, lush vegetation such as figs, laurel, Sal trees and bamboos have been cleared in some areas for farming.

On the tropical climate, altitude between 5000 to 13000 feet, there have forest of oak, chestnut, maple, birch, alder, magnolia and silver fir. Above 13000 feet of altitude, the alpine zone where juniper, cypresses and rhododendrons grow. Forest cover more than 36% of land in Sikkim.

Animals in Sikkim

Amongst the mammals of Sikkim are the rare Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear, Red panda, Musk Deer and Blue Sheep.

Birdlife is abundant with Giant Lammergeier, Vultures, Eagles, Whistling Thursh, Minivets, Bulbuls and Pheasants among the 550 species to be seen in Sikkim.

National Parks, Sanctuaries and Biosphere Reserves of Sikkim

Sl. No.NameDistrictArea (Hectares)
1 Biosphere Reserve North, South, West 200,000
2 Kanchendzonga National Park North Sikkim 178,400
3 Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary West Sikkim 10,400
4 FabongLho Wildlife East Sikkim 5,176
5 Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary North Sikkim 4,300
6 Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary South Sikkim 3,534
7 Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary East Sikkim 3,100

Details of Flora, Fauna and Endangered Species in Sikkim

Flora and FaunaNo. of SpeciesPrincipal Endangered Species
Mammals 150 Bharal, Clouded leopard, Fishing Cat, Golden Cat, Himalayan Tahr, Leopard Cat, Lesser or Red Panda, Marbled Cat, Musk Deer, Nayan or Great Tibetan Sheep, Pangolin, Snow leopard, Spotted Lingsang, Tibetan Fox, Tibetan Gazelle, Tibetan Wild Ass, Tiger, Tibetan Wolf.
Birds 552 Blacknecked Crane (Migratory), Blood Pheasant Lammergeier, Large Falcon, Monal Pheasant, Peafowl, Tibetan Show Cock, Tragopan Pheasant, Snow Partridge.
Butterflies & Moth 590 Most of the butterflies and moths found in Sikkim are endangered species
Orchids 556 Sikkim's orchids are world-famous as the state has 556 species of them. The colours range from the richest to the palest in species as varied as Cymbidiums, Vandas, Cattlelyas, Dendrobiums, Hooheriana, Farmeri and Amoneum.
Rhododendrons 40 From the giant Rhododendron Crande [over 40ft] to the Rhododendron Nivale(a few-inches off the ground), and from the blood red to pale white. The delicate but hardy Primula are found at heights of 12,000 ft. and above. The Himalayan rhubarb is a unique feature of this area, standing upright like candles in the arid vast.
Flowering Plant 4500  
Ferns & Fern allies 362  
Tree Ferns 8  
Medicinal plants 424  
Oaks 11  
Conifers 16  
Bamboos 23  
Fish 48