Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS)

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Overview:

A case was recently registered against a chopper company by the forest department in Uttarakhand for purportedly landing a helicopter in a restricted zone of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary.

About Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS)

  • Location: The KWS, famously known as the Kedarnath Musk Deer Sanctuary, is located in the Rudraprayag and Chamoli districts of the state of Uttarakhand.
  • It was named after the famous Hindu temple of Kedarnath, which lies outside the northern border of the sanctuary.
  • Its alternate name comes from its primary purpose of protecting the endangered Himalayan musk deer.
  • It is the largest protected area in the western Himalayas.
  • The sanctuary was established in 1972, covering a total area of 975.20 km2.
  • It lies in the upper catchment of the Alaknanda and Mandakini Rivers.
  • The altitude ranges from 1,160 to 7,068 m.
  • It is bordered by Kedarnath (6940 m), Mandani (6193 m), and Chaukhamba (7068 m) peaks in the north. 
  • The area falls under the West Himalayan Zone in the Palearctic realm.
  • Vegetation:
    • It is covered with temperate forests.
    • The higher and upper regions possess the sub-alpine and alpine coniferous forests.
    • At high altitude, lush green meadows envelope the entire region. 
  • Flora: Oak, rhododendrons, Chir Pine and Alpine meadows along with several Himalayan flowering plants. 
  • Fauna: Some of the mammals are Musk deer, Himalayan Thar, Himalayan Black bear, Snow Leopard, etc, and some birds like Monal, Koklass, and Himalayan Griffon, etc.

Q1) What are temperate forests?

Temperate forests are a type of forest ecosystem found in regions with moderate temperatures and ample rainfall. These forests are characterized by their mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees, as well as a diverse array of plant and animal species. Temperate forests are found in regions such as the northeastern United States, parts of Europe and Asia, and the southeastern coast of Australia. They are dominated by a variety of tree species, including deciduous species such as oak, maple, beech, and hickory, as well as evergreen species like pine, spruce, and hemlock.

Source: Chopper firm in the soup after Sara Ali Khan landing in Kedarnath restricted zone