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After being separated from Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh is now looking for new state bird and animal


In August 2019, President Ram Nath Kovind gave assent to a legislation to bifurcate the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. The Union Territories came into existence on October 31, 2019. Among the many new tasks each of the new local administrations faced was to identify and declare a new state bird and state animal.

But a year and a half after they were created, Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir are yet to do this. This makes them the only two Union Territories in the country without these state symbols. These symbols play an important role in reflecting the state or Union Territory’s identity and driving conservation efforts for threatened species.

The former state of Jammu and Kashmir had the black-necked crane and Kashmir stag (hangul) as its state bird and state animal. Both species are rare and had been symbols of the state for a long time. But the black-necked crane is found only in Eastern Ladakh and the hangul is found only in Kashmir Valley. So, following the bifurcation into separate administrative divisions, the black-necked crane could no longer be the state bird if Jammu and Kashmir and the hangul could no longer…

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