Northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows
Morning scene in Thuskeo Dhar.jpg
Ecoregion territory (in purple)
Ecoregion territory (in purple)
BiomeMontane grasslands and shrublands
Bird species172[1]
Mammal species80[1]
Area49,400 km2 (19,100 sq mi)
CountriesIndia, China, Pakistan and Afghanistan
Habitat loss20.896%[1]

The Northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows is a montane grasslands and shrublands ecoregion of the elevations of the northwestern Himalaya of China, India, and Pakistan.


Northwestern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows cover 49,400 square kilometres (19,100 sq mi) at elevations between 3,300 and 3,600 metres (10,800 and 11,800 ft) in the northwestern Himalayas. They are found in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir in northwestern India and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan in northern Pakistan.


This ecoregion's flora is composed mostly of krummholz and herbaceous plants.

Various rhododendrons live in the scrub habitat near timberline, as do junipers and birches. Although several species of rhododendron are recorded in this ecoregion, they are represented by a lesser greater diversity than in the eastern Himalaya, where 60 species are reported in the Northeastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests.

Genera of herbaceous plants include Doronicum, Delphinium, Gentiana, Meconopsis, Pedicularis, Anemone, Aster, Polygonum, Primula, and Mertensia. Scree habitats include Caragana, Saxifraga, Draba, and Gypsophila.


Eighty mammals species are reported in this ecoregion. It contains prime habitat for the snow leopard and the Tibetan wolf. Other mammals include the ibex, markhor, blue sheep, tahr, and Himalayan marmot.

There are 172 bird species in this ecoregion. Important birds include the lammergeier, golden eagle, Himalayan griffon vulture, snow partridge, Tibetan snowcock, and Himalayan snowcock.


This ecoregion is well preserved because of high elevation, difficult climate, and lack of trees. Protected areas include:

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Hoekstra, J. M.; Molnar, J. L.; Jennings, M.; Revenga, C.; Spalding, M. D.; Boucher, T. M.; Robertson, J. C.; Heibel, T. J.; Ellison, K. (2010). Molnar, J. L. (ed.). The Atlas of Global Conservation: Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities to Make a Difference. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-26256-0.