Askot Wildlife Sanctuary
Birds in Musk Dear Area
The sanctuary sprawls across an area of 284 sq. km. It is located 54 km from Pithoragarh
near Ascot in the state of Uttaranchal. It stands at an altitude of 1650 m (5412 ft).
The location of the sanctuary in the middle of a snow-covered peak in the Kumaon
region in the Himalayas will simply drive you crazy.
The Askot sanctuary was established in the year 1986. The primary objective was to protect and conserve the rare species of musk deer (Moschus moschiferus) that was available in the region. Today the sanctuary houses a good number of this species.
Flora and fauna: Like other sanctuaries in the state, the Askot wildlife sanctuary is blessed with an enriched biodiversity. You will find a considerable number of climbers, herbs, trees and shrubs. Darkunja, Eucalyptus, Kail, Khersu, Teak, Kunj, Fir, Bhoj Patra, Raijal and Grevelia are the main vegetation of the region. Apart from the floral species, visitors are also allured by the faunal species that include birds, animals and reptiles. The musk deer remain to be the main attraction. But you will also find Snow Tiger, Turtles, Leopard, Spectacled cobras, Bharal, Deer, Kakar, Gaur, Thar, Horns, grey Himalayan bear, Antlers, black Himalayan bear, Monkeys, black Eagles, Chukoras, Lemurs, bonnet Macaques, Bison, Snow cock, Kraits, Pheasant, Darters, Serow, Vipers, Little cormorants, etc.
Birding Area Name:
Askot Wildlife Santuary
Thrushes, Pheasants, Hornbills, Warblers, Flycatchers, Wall-Creeper, Changeable Hawk-Eagle,
Emerald Dove, Himalayan Bearded Vulture, Falcon, Brown Fish Owls etc
A consolidated list of the observations gives a total of 227 (212 breeding, forest dependent) bird species in 30 families and 118 genera, representing more than 45% of the breeding bird diversity of the Western Himalaya and nearly 55% of breeding UT bird species of the Kumaon Himalaya as surveyed by local society. The lower altitude areas are still under-explored, and, the list would be much longer once areas below 1500 m are properly surveyed. This assemblage represents 2 out of 11 West Himalayan restricted range species (Stattersfield et al.1998), including globally threatened Cheer pheasant Catreus wallichii. Overall, 17 species that are rare or uncommon in the Himalayas. The site has 81 biome species. These species represent 71% of all biome restricted species recorded in Kumaon.
The Askot Wildlife Sanctuary is best explored in a week-long visit, covering area of Sarmoli, Mesar Kund, Balati, Khalia, Shiling, Budgair Dhar, Thamri Kund, Ralam Valley etc.
How to reach here:
The sanctuary is around 55 km from the Pithoragarh and 150 km from Almora. It is easily accessible by road via Tanakpur - Pithoragarh or via Haldwani - Almora.
From 600- 6905 m
Cottages, Camps, Home Stays at the villages Sarmoli, Shankhdhura, Paton, KMVN Guest House and FRH inside the Askot Wild Life Sanctuary