Yaya Tso to be Ladakh’s First Biodiversity Heritage Site
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Yaya Tso to be Ladakh’s First Biodiversity Heritage Site

The Biodiversity Management Committee, the panchayat of Chumathang village, and SECURE Himalaya Project have resolved to declare Yaya Tso as Ladakh’s first biodiversity heritage site (BHS) under the Biological Diversity Act.

Yaya Tso is among the most beautiful lakes in Ladakh. It is known as birds’ paradise for its beautiful lake located at an altitude of 4,820 metres. A nesting habitat for a large number of birds and animals, such as the bar-headed goose, black-necked crane and brahminy duck, it also has the distinction of being one of the highest breeding sites of the black-necked crane in India.

The lake could be reached from Mahe monastery on the way to Tsomoriri lake after driving up to the nunnery and then crossing a small mountain pass. The proposed Yaya Tso site will have an approximate area of 60 square kilometers, which will also include the lake’s watershed.

The project will facilitate the official notification of the BHS after taking the application up with the Ladakh Biodiversity Council. SECURE Himalaya has also proposed to develop a management plan for the BHS and pilot interventions to support conservation of this lake.