Great Himalayan National Park
The Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) is located in the Kullu District of Himachal Pradesh, India. Initially constituted in 1984, GHNP was formally declared a National Park in 1999, covering an area of 754.4 sq kms. In 1994, two major changes were made in land use around the Park. A buffer zone of 5 km from the Park’s western boundary, covering 265.6 sq km. and including 2,300 households in 160 villages, was delineated as an Ecozone. Most of the population (about 15,000 to 16,000 people) in the Ecozone are poor and dependent on natural resources for their livelihoods. The birds of GHNP are an important part of the Park’s biological diversity, in their own right and as indicators of diversity within the wider ecosystem. They are also an attraction for bird watchers at an international level. The Park is well known as the most important locality in India for the endangered Western Tragopan. Four other species of pheasant occur in or adjacent to the Park; the one most likely to be seen by visitors is the Monal, an abundant bird in the higher forests, although rather shy. Raptors are also a prominent feature of the Park, with Lammergeiers, Himalayan Griffon Vultures and Golden Eagles being seen regularly. A great variety of other birds occurs (a total of 209 species), some of which reach their western limit in the Park.