Yaya Tso to become Ladakh’s first biodiversity heritage site

Yaya Tso, known as birds’ paradise for its beautiful lake located at an altitude of 4,820 metres, has been proposed as Ladakh’s first biodiversity heritage site (BHS), officials said.

The Biodiversity Management Committee, the panchayat of Chumathang village, along with SECURE Himalaya Project recently resolved to declare Yaya Tso as Ladakh’s first BHS under the Biological Diversity Act, they said.

Further, 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 subsequently develop a management plan for the BHS and pilot interventions to support conservation of this lake, they said.

The proposed Yaya Tso site will have an approximate area of 60 square kilometers, which will also include the lake’s watershed, they said, adding Yaya Tso is among the most beautiful lakes in Ladakh.

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.

Yaya Tso is a nesting habitat for a large number of birds and animals, such as the bar-headed goose, black-necked crane and brahminy duck, the officials said, adding it also has the distinction of being one of the highest breeding sites of the black-necked crane in India.