In news- The Ladakh Union Territory administration recently announced snow leopard as its state animal and black-necked crane as its state bird.
- This announcement comes after the J&K Union Territory parted ways from the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state in 2019.
- Earlier, the black-necked crane was the state bird of J&K that existed until 5 August, 2019.
- According to reports, the black-necked crane is found in eastern Ladakh‘s high-altitude wetlands and marshes.
- These birds arrive in Ladakh in March for breeding and migrate by October end or early November.
- People in Ladakh believe that sighting a black-necked crane signifies good luck.
- In total, there are about 7,500 snow leopards left in the world, out of which 500 are in India and 200-300 of them are in Ladakh alone.
- They prey on marmots, bharal (blue sheep), and ibex.
Extra reading – https://journalsofindia.com/first-snow-leopard-census/