Few places on Earth can match the breathtaking beauty of the Eastern Himalayas.
Extending for almost 2,500 km across Bhutan, China, India and Nepal, the Eastern Himalayan sub-region is home to the world's tallest peaks, including Mt Everest, and houses the largest concentration of glaciers outside the polar caps. The region also feeds 3 of the world's great rivers: The Ganges, Indus and Yangtze, providing water to over a billion people across Asia.
The Himalayas forms a 2,400 km long barrier that seperates the lowlands of the Indian subcontinent from the high, dry Tibetan Plateau. As a result tropical and subtropical forest, temperate forest, savanna, tundra, rich alpine meadows and the world's highest ice covered peaks can all be found within the region. This incredible diversity of climate, altitude, rainfall, and soil conditions generates the unique diversity of flora and fauna assemblages found in the region. Find out more about the landscapes of the region >>
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The Eastern Himalayas are one of the most biologically rich areas on Earth, home to a staggering 10,000 species of plant, 977 species of bird, 300 species of mammal, 269 species of freshwater fish, 176 species of reptile and 105 species of amphibian. Many of these species are endemic to the region including 30% of all plants and reptiles, and 40% of all amphibians. It is also home to some of the world's most iconic species on Earth including tigers, rhinos, elephants, and the illusive snow leopard.
Just as the Eastern Himalayas are renowned for the rich biodiversity of the region, they are equally celebrated for the incredible diversity of cultures and people.
With more than 40 languages, the region is home to a mosaic of cultures and faiths that have lived closely with nature for centuries, with many remaining intrinsically entwined today.
The Eastern Himalayas is facing a range of serious threats to the biodiversity, environments and human livelihoods of the region. These include habitat loss through deforestation, degradation and fragmentation; species loss through habitat loss, wildlife poaching and human-wildlife conflict; and climate change, which threatens to exacerbate the impacts from all of these threats. As a result less than 25% of the regions original habitat remains intact, and some 163 native species are considered threatened.
Through our Living Himalayas Initiative we are working closely with the governments and people of Bhutan, India and Nepal to conserve and reconnect the region's natural landscapes. Our objective is to create a conservation complex of over 7 million hectares across the top of the world - providing full connectivity across 1,500 km. This will ensure the ecological integrity of the forest and freshwater ecosystems, and allow the regions majestic species to move freely through these landscapes. Find out more about our landscape conservation in the Himalayas >>