About Western Arunachal landscape | WWF India

About Western Arunachal landscape

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Western Arunachal Landscape Forests
© Dipankar Ghose

Habitat and Distribution

The Western Arunachal Landscape (WAL) is spread over an area of 7,000 sq km in the West Kameng and Tawang districts of Arunachal Pradesh.
Located in the north eastern part of India, the expanse comprises mountains from 50 meters above sea level in the foothills to high elevations of over 7,000 meters. It has a diverse climate from dry regions with less than 1,000 mm annual rainfall to regions with over 5,700mm rainfall. The third highest mountain peak in northeast India, Mt. Gorichen, from which the major river Kameng originates, and flows across the hills to join the Brahmaputra River, is also present in the landscape.
 
The landscape is best known for the presence of a wide variety of rhododendron species, estimated at 32 species and five subspecies. It is also home of the elusive red panda and the snow leopard, apart from 13 other threatened and vulnerable species of vertebrates.

In Arunachal Pradesh, the forest cover is 81% of the state’s area, and more than 60% of the state’s forests are under the rights and ownership of the local indigenous communities governed by traditional customary laws. In other words, local communities own 31,826 sq.km of state’s forest that are prime wildlife habitats. With a vision to strengthen community-based conservation and conservation of critical species, WWF-India initiated its intervention in the state in the year 1992.  Red panda and snow leopard conservation, high altitude wetlands conservation, strengthening Community Conserved Areas (CCA) and community based tourism; and influencing policies on sustainable hydro-power, tourism and Smart Green Infrastructure, are some of the principal focus of WWF-India in the state.
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