Sikkim Factfile  
  Bird Facts  

30% of the birds found in India are also found in Sikkim, about 550 species live here. The tiny Olive Grand Warbler which is about 3.5 inches long to the gigantic Bearded Vulture with over 10 ft of wing span Sikkim prides of numerous birds like the King fisher, Whistling Thrushes, Bulbuls, Magpies, Falcons and many more. It is a veritable haven for bird watchers and infact the birdman of India, Salim Ali was here to write his book titled ?The birds of Sikkim?.


Monal Pheasant (Lophophorus impejanus)
This bird from Sikkim shares its name with Lady Impey, the wife of the first Governor General of Bengal who is said to have been so much fascinated by it that she pioneered its breeding in England. The blood red Pheasant has been declared the state bird of Sikkim.


Red Panda Fact
The cuddly red panda is the state animal of Sikkim. It belongs to the raccoon family and when fully grown it reaches 1 mt in length. Found in altitudes from 2,000 to 3,000 mts, it delights on bamboo leaves. In Sikkim flies 650 species of colourful butterflies and moths.


Flora Facts                 
The State has about 4,500 species of flowering plants. The predominant flowers are the Orchids and the Rhododendron.

  The ?Sikkim gap?, a popular phrase among naturalists describes the state very aptly as a land locked region with the Tibetan plateau and Tangkar La range on one side and the hills of Singalila ridge on the other with a sole opening in the Southern part, lending it a bowl-like landscape with an awesome over 4,000 plant species stocked within 11,000 sq. km. of mesmerizing space.  

Giant Rhubarb (Rheum nobile)
Grows at an altitude of 3,600 to 4,500 mts, this giant plant blooms in the months between June and July. Its stout erect stem could attain a height of 1.5 mts.


There are about 30 to 40 species of Primulas in Sikkim with a majority of them growing from 12,000 to 15,000 ft. Some even flourish in as high as 17,000 ft. Primula Sikhimensis that grow at 11,000 to 15,000 ft is one of the few that thrive in England.


Sikkim boasts of about 490 species of Orchids. Their habitat in the state include Alpine and sub-alpine zones at about 3,500 to 5,000 mts, temperate and sub-temperate zones at 1850 to 3500 mts, sub-tropical zone at 850 to 1850 mts and tropical zone at 250 to 850 mts. The orchid Dendrobium nobile is the state flower of Sikkim.


Dr JD Hooker was responsible for introducing the beautiful Sikkim rhododendrons in the United Kingdom which date back to somewhere in the mid-eighteenth century.


In Sikkim flourishes about 40 species of rhododendrons. One of them, the Rhododendron grande could reach a gigantic size of over 40 ft with a trunk girth of 5 ft while the Rhododendron nivale barely attain a dwarfish 2 inches above the ground. The Rhododendron niveum is the state tree.


Large cardamom locally called ?alainchi? is an important cash crop of Sikkim. The State contributes 53% of the world production with about 26,734 hectare of land under its cultivation.


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