The Ladakh Union Territory administration has announced on September 1 that the snow leopard as its state animal and black-necked crane as its state bird.
For the time being, a statement has been issued by Principal Secretary of the Union Territory’s Forest, Ecology, and Environment Department on behalf of Pawan Kotwal who is the Lieutenant Governor of the Union Territory.
The statement said, "The Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of Ladakh is pleased to declare snow leopard (Panther unica) and black-necked crane (Grus nicricollis) as state animal and state bird, respectively, of the union territory of Ladakh from the date of issue of this notification."
This big development comes after the Union Territory had parted ways from the former Jammu & Kashmir state in 2019.
Initially, the black-necked crane was the state bird of Jammu & Kashmir that existed till 5th of August in 2019.
As per to the reports, the black-necked crane birds are found in high-altitude wetlands and marshes of eastern Ladakh.
These birds are listed as Near Threatened species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list.
These birds arrive in Ladakh in the month of March for nurturing and migrates by the end of October or early November.
There are nearly 7,500 snow leopards left across the globe, and out of which India is home to 500. Although, the environment experts says that the population of snow leopards is between 200-300 in Ladakh alone.
The high-altitude cold desert of Ladakh is home to over half of them and, sighting them is very rare.