Thursday, August 10, 2023

Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary

Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC

Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Indian union territory of Jammu and Kashmir. It is part of the Pir Panjal range in the western Himalayas. The sanctuary is characterized by its stunning landscapes, with dense forests, lush meadows, and snow-capped peaks.

The declaration of the Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary aimed to safeguard the habitat of the world's largest wild goat, the Markhor, along with its associated catchment area.

Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary also offers opportunities for trekking and adventure enthusiasts. The picturesque landscapes and relatively undisturbed natural surroundings make it an attractive destination for those seeking outdoor activities.

Table of Contents

  • Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary Location
  • Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary History
  • Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary Area
  • Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary Mountains
  • Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary River
  • Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary Flora
  • Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary Location

The Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the district of Shopian in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is nestled within the Pir Panjal range of the western Himalayas.

The sanctuary is bounded to the north by Lake Gumsar, northeast by Hirpora village, east by Rupri, south by Saransar and to the west by the Pir Panjal pass. 

Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary is the Srinagar International Airport, which is located in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India. The distance from Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary to Srinagar International Airport is approximately 76 kilometers (about 47 miles) by road.

Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary is the Jammu Tawi Railway Station, which is situated in Jammu city, Jammu and Kashmir, India. The distance from Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary to Jammu Tawi Railway Station is approximately 212 kilometers (about 132 miles) by road.

Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary History

Establishment: In the year 1987, the Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary came into existence as a dedicated conservation area within the pristine landscapes of Jammu and Kashmir, India. This significant establishment marked a milestone in the region's commitment to preserving its unique biodiversity and natural heritage.

Conservation Focus and Objectives: The primary objective behind the creation of Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary was to protect and conserve the rich and diverse flora and fauna that call this region home. With a particular emphasis on safeguarding the habitat of the world's largest wild goat species, the Markhor, the sanctuary was established to provide a haven for these magnificent creatures and other wildlife in their natural environment.

Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary Area

Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of approximately 341 square kilometers (132 square miles). This substantial expanse highlights the sanctuary's significance as a protected habitat for various wildlife species and underscores its role in preserving the biodiversity of the Pir Panjal range in Jammu and Kashmir, India.

Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary Mountains

Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary is situated amidst the picturesque Mountains of the Pir Panjal range in the district of Shopian, Jammu and Kashmir, India. The sanctuary's landscape is characterized by its rolling hills, dense forests, lush meadows, and snow-capped peaks, making it a captivating and diverse natural habitat. 

Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary River

The Rambiara River is the significant watercourse that flows through the Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary. This river plays a crucial role in shaping the sanctuary's ecosystem, providing water, and contributing to the overall biodiversity of the area. 

Rambiara is a tributary to the River Jhelum. It's an essential lifeline for the flora and fauna within the sanctuary, and its presence enhances the natural beauty of the landscape. 

Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary Flora

The Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary encompasses a diverse range of vegetation types, each contributing to its unique ecological tapestry. These vegetation zones are intricately woven into the sanctuary's landscape, supporting a myriad of plant and animal species. 

Here are the main vegetation types present in the sanctuary:

(1) Western Mixed Coniferous Forests:

This vegetation type is characterized by the dominance of Kail pine, complemented by spruce and fir (Abies pindrow) as important associates. These forests create a rich, layered canopy that provides shelter and sustenance for various wildlife species.

(2) West Himalayan Sub-Alpine Forests:

Fir trees stand out in this vegetation zone, forming an essential element of the sanctuary's biodiversity. These forests contribute to the sanctuary's ecological balance and provide habitat for numerous species.

(3) Deciduous Sub-Alpine Scrub Forests:

Himalayan birch (Betula utilis) and juniper (Juniperus communis) take center stage in this ecosystem, with wild rose adding to the diversity. These scrubs offer essential cover and resources for wildlife within the sanctuary.

(4) Moderately Open Coniferous Vegetation:

Found primarily in the southeastern part of the sanctuary, this vegetation type features Kail pine as the dominant species. Fir and spruce contribute to the ecosystem's composition, creating a distinct habitat within the sanctuary.

(5) Sub-Alpine Scrub Forests (Northwestern Portion):

Characterized by rocky and open terrain, this zone is predominantly shaped by juniper dominance, with Kail pine serving as an associated species. This type of vegetation provides a unique habitat niche within the sanctuary.

(6) Man-Made Sub-Alpine Pastures:

Both the northwestern and southeastern parts of the sanctuary feature these pastures, which are influenced by human activities. These areas offer grazing grounds for animals and represent the interaction between natural and anthropogenic influences.

Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary Fauna (Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary Animals)

Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a diverse range of fauna, reflecting the rich biodiversity of the region. The sanctuary's varied landscapes provide habitats for numerous species, including some that are rare or endangered. 

Here are some of the notable animals that can be found within the sanctuary:


  • Pir Panjal Markhor (Critically Endangered)
  • Himalayan Black Bear
  • Himalayan Brown Bear
  • Tibetan Wolf
  • Himalayan Palm Civet
  • Musk Deer
  • Leopard
  • Serow


  • Koklass Pheasant
  • Monal Pheasant
  • Himalayan Snowcock
  • Spotted Forktail
  • Rock Bunting
  • Rufous-breasted Accentor
  • Himalayan Woodpecker
  • Blue Rock Thrush
  • Himalayan Griffon


  • Snakes
  • Lizards

Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. In which state Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary is located?

A. Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, India. It is situated in the district of Shopian within the Pir Panjal range of the western Himalayas.

Q. What is the Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary famous for?

A. Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary is primarily famous for its efforts to conserve and protect the habitat of the Markhor, which is the world's largest wild goat species. The sanctuary's establishment was aimed at safeguarding the Markhor and its associated ecosystem, including the diverse flora and fauna of the region.

Key points of fame for Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary include:

(i) Markhor Conservation: The sanctuary's primary focus is to provide a safe and protected environment for the Markhor, a rare and endangered species. Markhors are known for their distinctive twisted horns and are highly valued for their conservation significance.

(ii) Biodiversity: Apart from Markhor, the sanctuary is home to a range of other wildlife species such as Himalayan brown bears, black bears, musk deer, leopards, various bird species, and more. Its diverse flora and fauna contribute to its ecological importance.

(iii) Natural Beauty: The sanctuary is situated within the picturesque landscapes of the Pir Panjal range, offering breathtaking views, lush meadows, and dense forests. Its scenic beauty attracts nature enthusiasts, hikers, and tourists.

(iv) Eco-Tourism: The sanctuary provides opportunities for responsible eco-tourism, allowing visitors to appreciate the natural wonders of the region while contributing to its conservation and local communities.

Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary

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