Ukhand’s first biodiversity gallery inaugurated in Haldwani
Uttarakhand’s First Biodiversity Gallery, which aims to showcase lesser-known aspects of the Hill State’s rich biodiversity, was inaugurated in Haldwani on Sunday with funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Blessed with the three agro-climatic zones – tropical, temperate and alpine – and being also at the confluence of the western and eastern Himalayas, Uttarakhand has an extremely rich biodiversity in all varieties of flora and fauna, Chief Curator of forests (Research) said Sanjiv Chaturvedi.
However, only a few species from this rich repository are known to man. This gallery of biodiversity is an attempt to fill that gap, ” he said. The main feature of this gallery is a representation of 101 icons of the state’s biodiversity, showing the state of threats and information on their habitat, ecological role and uses, he said.
These 101 unique species of flora and fauna native to the state include the giant Himalayan lily, the largest lily in the world; rhododendron arboretum, the largest species of rhododendron in the world; and the king cobra, the world’s largest poisonous snake. The Himalayan viper, the highest altitude poisonous snake; the giant Himalayan bee, the largest bee in the world; the atlas butterfly, the largest of its kind in the world; yellow-throated marten, the largest in the world; and India’s largest insectivorous bat, the large leaf-nosed Himalayan bat, is also part of the gallery.
Other interesting species found naturally in the state, including the salt-headed parakeet, the only species in the parakeet family that migrates in winter; Himalayan langur, the only primate species found in the Himalayas, interesting species of native insectivorous plants, ferns, mosses, liverworts, grass species and special fauna such as the Himalayan marmot found on the border of the Tibet, the world’s tallest mammal, the Himalayan pika, flying squirrel, and yellow-headed turtle can also be seen at the gallery.
Additionally, the gallery has eight sections, one of which features abandoned nests of various species such as the weaver bird and the king cobra, the only species of reptiles that make nests.
Another section features unique products of the state’s biodiversity such as keedajadi, the world’s most expensive mushroom; red honey, produced by giant bees and one of the most expensive types of honey in the world; and biodiversity products that have received the Geographic Indicator label, such as cherry butter and Ringal crafts.
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