Cold Desert/ Temperate Desert


Cold desert of India include areas of ladak, leh and kargil of kashmir and spiti valley of Himachal  Pradesh and some parts of northern Uttaranchal and Sikkim. Lies in rain shadow of Himalaya Oak, pine, deodar, birch and rhododendron are the important trees and bushes found there. Major  animal include yaks, dwarf cows, and goats.

Severe arid conditions – Dry Atmosphere

Mean annual rainfall less than 400mm

Soil type – sandy to sandy loam , Soil pH – neutral to slight alkaline.

Soil nutrient – Poor organic matter content ,low water retention capacity


Cold desert is the home of highly adaptive, rare endangered fauna, such as

Asiatic Ibex, Tibetan Argali, Ladakh Uriyal, Bharal, Tibetan Antelope (chiru),

Tibetan Gazelle, Wild Yak, Snow Leopard, Brown Bear, Tibetan Wolf, Wild

Dog and Tibetan Wild Ass (‘Kiang’ a close relative of the Indian wild ass) ,

Woolly hare, Black Necked  Crane, etc.


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