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Transcript of Himalayas
The Himalayan Mountains are located in Asia. More specifically, they cover Nepal, Bhutan, northern Pakistan, and the northern states of India.
Threats to the Himalayas
Although the Himalayas are completely remote and common belief is that they are inaccessible, people have managed to use and degrade the mountains. The forests of the Himalayas are prone to extensive clearing for cultivation and logging. The wood is used for timber. Fuel wood has also been discovered and extracted. The Himalayan grasslands are overgrazed by domestic cattle and yak. The flora of the fragile alpine meadows have been over exploited for traditional medicine. Humans have even been part of the degradation because people have learned to live on and build roads on the mountains.
The Himalayas are categorized as alpine mountains. High mountains such as the Himalayas have varying climate. Some parts of the range can be very cold and have a lot of precipitation while others can be extremely dry and windy. Such dissimilar conditions cannot support much plant or animal life.
The Rain Shadow Effect
The Himalayas are subject to the Rain Shadow Effect, which is a phenomena in which there is low precipitation on one side of a mountain while prevailing winds flow up and over the other side of the mountain or range of high mountains. This creates semiarid and arid conditions on the side that is blocked from the wind.
The Himalayas are a common home for endemic species. Not many species can survive on the mountains. This is because conditions of the Himalayas are very harsh and hard to adjust to. The elevation of mountains make them colder and the climate on the mountain varies based on weather and the location on the mountain.
Hotspot Site (Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund):
In 25 to 30 years, the Himalayas will make a complete comeback. With all of the conservation efforts, I believe the Himalayas will make a bounce back and all the destruction of the mountain range will be restored. The conservation of the Himalayas help to restore biodiversity, which in turn helps sustain the hotspot.
The snow leopard of the Himalayas is known for it's beautiful fur and elusive behavior. Native to the central Asian mountains, the snow leopard is now at risk of extinction. There are an estimated 4,500 to 6,000 snow leopards still in existence. Some reasons for the major decline of their population are hunters who sell their fur, destruction of their habitat, and lack of resources, including the limiting factor of harsh conditions.
World Heritage Sites (Corbett, Manas, Kazaranga, Chitwan, and Sagarmatha):
All together, these national park take up 113,000 km squared, which is about 15% of the Himalayan hotspot. These sites contribute to the biodiversity of the mountains as well as protect important ice.
The Livelihood and Forestry Project:
Targets communities living in and around forested areas, with the idea that decreasing poverty and increasing awareness and ownership over resources will result in greater biodiversity conservation.