Conservation in Darjeeling

Darjeeling is located in the lower Himalayan Mountain range, at an altitude of 6,700 feet (2,042 m). This mountain range stretches for 1,550 miles (2,500 km) across the northern boundary of the Indian subcontinent. Darjeeling is commonly recognized for its tea production, but it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and host of several wildlife sanctuaries established by the West Bengal State Government to protect the endangered flora and fauna of the region. Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the oldest wildlife sanctuaries in India, covering over 14.9 square miles (38.6 sq. km) and preserving a rich bird community as well as many high-altitude endangered animals. Conserved animals include red pandas, Himalayan black bears and muntjacs, also known as “barking deer.” The 61.4 square miles (159 sq. km) that make up the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary was designated in 1959 to preserve the Royal Bengal tiger and the Indian bison, which were highly endangered species.