Govind National Park


Govind National Park (GNP) and Govind Pashu Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary (GWS) are part of high Western Himalayan highland situated in the Uttarkashi district of Uttrakhand. The protected area landscape lies between latitudes 35°55ʹ–31°17ʹ N and longitude 77°47ʹ–78°37ʹ E, covering an area of about 958 km2. A part of the Upper Tones Valley was notified as a Sanctuary in 1955 while GNP was notified in 1991. The area comprises of Rupin and Supin valleys that form important catchment for the Tones River, the main tributary of Yamuna River. With an average rainfall of 1500 mm during July–August at lower altitudes, the area experiences extreme cold and snow during the three to four months of winter.

GNP and GWS have varied climatic zones starting from sub-tropical (1200–1700m) to temperate (1700–3500m) and alpine (>3500m) resulting in diverse flora of the region including Pinus roxburghii, Alnus nepalensis, Mallotus philippensis, Toona ciliata in the subtropical zone; Quercus spp., Cedrus deodara, Juglans regia, Rhododendron arboreum, Picea smithiana in the temperate zone; Taxus wallichiana, Quercus semecarpifolia, Pinus wallichiana, Rhododendron campanulatum , in the sub-alpine zone and Danthonia cachemyriana, Nardostachys jatamansi, Picrorhiza kurroa, Androsace globifera, Acontium heterophyllum, A. balfourii, Gentiana sp. and Potentilla sp. dominate the alpine zone (Negi et al., 2009). 70 species of butterflies have been recorded from this area (Bhardwaj et al., 2012). Sathyakumar (1994) reported about 20 species of mammals and 100 species of birds from the sanctuary. The region has been identified as an area of importance for Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) conservation.

About 47 villages are scattered throughout the PA landscape, where inhabitants subsist mainly on livestock rearing, traditional agriculture and forest products. Increased anthropogenic pressure due to livestock grazing, logging, lopping for fodder and fuelwood, medicinal plant collection and forest fire leads to habitat degradation and fragmentation. The alpine meadows are also visited by the nomadic pastoralists from the Terai with large herds of goats, sheep and mules, putting additional burden on the already fragile ecosystem.

 Govind Pashu Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary  Govind Pashu Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary  Govind Pashu Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary
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  • Bhardwaj, M., Uniyal, V.P., Sanyal, A.K., & Singh, A.P. (2012). Butterfly communities along an elevational gradient in the Tons valley, Western Himalayas: Implications of rapid assessment for insect conservation. Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology, 15(2), 207-217.
  • Negi, V.S., Maikhuri, R.K., Phondani, P.C., & Rawat, L.S. (2009). An inventory of indigenous knowledge and cultivation practices of medicinal plants in Govind Pashu Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary, Central Himalaya, India. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management, 6(3-4), 96-105.
  • Gupta, S.K. (2004). Gobind pashu vihar an overview. Gobind pashu vihar, 1.
  • Sathyakumar, S. (1994). Need for conserving bio-diversity of Govind Wildlife Sanctuary. WII Newsletter, 34-36.