Information on wildlife tours, wildlife viewing, wildlife park and nature of Meghalaya - india   Encyclopedia of Tours and Travel to Meghalaya, featuring information on Fairs & Festivals, Wildlife, Excursion, Adventure and Weather of Meghalaya.
Meghalaya


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Wildlife

Flora
Meghalaya is a treasure trove of Nature, with its richly varied and dense endemic, exotic and cultivated flora. Nature, in its generous abundance, had bestowed on Meghalaya a unique array of vegetation, ranging from tropical and sub-tropical to temperate or near temperate. This is due to the diverse topography, varied and abundant rainfall and differential climatic and edaphic conditions of the State, within small regions.. Biotic factors have also played an important role, at places decisive.

Geographical position of Meghalaya has it appears favoured immigration and introduction of different plant species from the neighbouring states of the North Eastern India and also countries like China, Tibet and Burma.

Geological factors, like the connection of Meghalaya with the land masses of Peninsular India, the Pacific Islands, Madagaskar and some other portions of Africa might also have influenced Meghalaya's flora and fauna to some extent.

A Botanical Wonder
Meghalaya's endemic Pitcher Plant or Nepenthes khasiana Hk. remains till now an explicable phenomenon to the botanists. It occurs in the Jarain area of the Jaintia Hills and the Baghmara area of the Garo Hills.

The people in the Khasi Hills where the plant grows call it Tiew-Rakot, which means demon-flower or devouring-plant. The Jaintias call it Kset Phare, Kset means net with a lid and Phare means fly. The Garos call the plant Memang-Koksi, which literally means the basket of the devil. The most interesting part of the Pitcher Plant is its leaf. The leaf is modified into different organs, such as the lamina, the tendril, the pitcher and the lid. Over the pitcher, a lid is formed. It is an outgrowth on the face of the leaf near its apex. The lid grows and then become sealed over the mouth of the pitcher. When the plant attains maturity, the lid opens up. The pitcher is designed to catch insects.

Money Spinning Plants
The forests of Meghalaya are a rich source of timber. The State as such is surplus in timber production and the bulk of timber for trade originates from private forests. Timber trade forms an integral and vital element in the economy of Meghalaya. Some of the important tree species, which yield valuable timber for trade are Khasi Pine, Sal, Teak, Bamboos.

In Meghalaya forests the rubber-yielding plant of Ficus elastica Roxb. belonging to the family of Moraceae is common.

Lac and Gum are obtained from forests in Meghalaya.

Meghalayan forests offer tremendous scope for sericulture or silk worm rearing industry.

Meghalaya is famous for its honey, derived mostly from forests in beehives. Nowadays, honey is being collected in artificial boxes also, instead of hives on trees.

The major crop plants of Meghalaya are Paddy, Maize, Millets, Pulses, Potato, Jute and Mesta, Ginger, Turmeric, Black Pepper, Sugar Cane, Oil Seeds.Both arecanut and betelvine are important cash crops of the State. Khasis are used to chew betel nuts and betel leaves since time immemorial.

The StatOrchidse is basically a home of many horticultural plants such as fruit bearing trees, cultivated fruit bearing plants, citrus varieties of fruits.

Vegetables are grown extensively in the central plateau of the Khasi Hills with loamy soil and also in the plains of the Garo Hills.

Recently Tea and Coffee are being grown in lands abandoned after jhuming.

Orchids
Orchids are highly valued for their fantastic range of variation and long lasting flowers. Of 17,000 species of orchids in the world, about 1,250 occur in India, of which nearly 300 are to be found in Meghalaya. They form a very noticeable element of the vegetation of the State and these hills have been the classical collection centres of many celebrated botanists and horticultural plant-collectors. They are, as a result, becoming scarce and some of the ornamental species are nearing extinction. The orchids of Meghalaya have distributions extending upto Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal, China on one hand and Burma, Malaya, Thailand on the other. Few species are only confined to Meghalaya.

In Cherrapunjee, the two forests - Mawsmai and Mawmluh contain the highest number of orchid species in the whole region. Sohrarim is another forest on the way to Cherrapunjee which is paradise of Botanists. Conservation of orchids is now a matter of universal concern. There is urgent need to maintain orchid sanctuaries and special efforts must be made to protect the 'Sacred forests' of Meghalaya, hitherto preserved by religious sanction alone. 'Orchid banks' may be created in orchidaria or in forest nurseries by bringing endangered species from their natural habitat and displaying them for the public.

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Fauna
Meghalaya is a paradise to the botanists for its variedly rich concentration of interesting and valuable flora. It is also no less a happy hunting ground to the zoologists for its interesting, rare and diverse faunal wealth.

Meghalaya is considered by many biologists to have been the gateway through which many species of Indo-Chinese origin, particularly mammals, migrated to Peninsular India.

In the forests of Meghalaya, specially in lower altitudes, multifarious species of birds can be seen in abundance. someare Hoopoe, Long tailed Broadbill, Scarlet Minivet, Burmese Roller , Blue - throated Barbet, Red-vented Bulbul, Himalayan Black Bulbul.

Besides, hornbills including the Great Indian hornbill, florican, owl, black drongo and many other birds are also found.Reptile population in Meghalaya includes lizards and snakes, poisonous and non-poisonous. Important ones are Indian Cobra, King cobra, Coral Snake, Vipers.

Besides mammals, birds and reptiles, Meghalaya has a number of amphibians and fishes and insects. Amphibians like frogs, toads etc. and fishes like rohu, mrigal, kalibaus, puti and many more of hill stream adaptation are found abundantly in Meghalaya. Among the insect population, ants, flies, bees, beetles are common.

Meghalaya's butterflies are world famous, among which are Blue Peacock, the Karserhed, the Orange Oak Leaf, the Dipper, thLeopardcate Bhutan Glory. It is for this exquisitely diverse, rare and wonderful animal life that Meghalaya is called a veritable Nature's Wonderland.

Mammals
Mammals Some species of different families of mammals namely Primates, the Cats, Civets, Mongooses, Dogs, Bear, Weasels, Bats, Rodents, Elephants, Gaur, Wild Buffalo, Serow, Deer, Pigs and Pangolins are seen roaming in the forests of Meghalaya. In Meghalaya we come across apes as well as monkeys and lemurs. The only type of apes found in Meghalaya as also in India is Hoolock Gibbon. In Meghalaya, we have both macaques and langurs. Of the macaques, Rhesus Macaque and Assamese Macaque are found. The Golden Langur is a very rare species of Meghalaya and is on the verge of extinction. They inhabit the evergreen forests of Meghalaya. Among lemurs, the Slow Loris is found in Meghalaya.

Bulky Body, Subtle Mind
In Meghalaya, there are about 2,000 elephants in the Garo Hills and 500 in the jungles of the Jaintia Hills. The average height of an adult Meghalayan mail elephant is about 270 cm. The Wild Buffalo is also found in Meghalaya.

The Winged Delights
Meghalaya is a happy abode of splendid varieties of butterflies, which are simply exquisite. Varied climate and multiple plant life of near temperate to sub-tropical ones as also a richly diverse topography make Meghalaya a natural storehouse of beautiful butterflies. About 250 species of butterflies are found in Meghalaya, out of about 1,000 species seen in India. Some of the exquisite varieties of butterflies of Meghalaya which are admired all over the world are: Blue Peacock, the Kaiser-E-Hind, Leafs-Butterfly, the Dipper, the Bhutan Glory. The Yellow Orange Tip has been recorded from Barapani during June. The Vagrant has been recorded from Nongpoh during February. The Common Blue Bottle has been recorded from Cherrapunjee, Mawphlang, Laitkor and Shillong during July to November. The Red-Breast Jazebel has been recorded from Nongpoh and Shillong during October.

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Information on wildlife tours, wildlife viewing, wildlife park and nature of Meghalaya - india

 
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