Blog Archives

Plastic reaches LADAKH

plastic reach ladakh

A female Himalayan Marmot (Marmota himalayana) gathering plastic as part of its nesting material. This photograph was taken enroute to Diskit from Leh. Plastic and other litter irresponsibly disposed by careless tourists on these remote roads can create serious problems for wildlife.

Himalayan Marmots live in alpine meadows, grassland and desert conditions with very low rainfall, typically inhabiting slopes where soil can be readily excavated (Molur et al. 2005; Smith and Xie 2008). It lives colonies and excavate unusually deep burrows, which are shared by colony members during hibernation. Litter size is reported to be two to eleven young, after a gestation period of one month.

In addition to the conventional threats to this species like hunting, mortality from domestic predators, habitat disturbance, and overgrazing of its habitat by domestic livestock (Molur et al. 2005), tourism to these remote parts poses a brand new threat.