Mount Everest Animals That You May Not Have Heard Of

Ayan Banerjee
Jan 26, 2023 By Ayan Banerjee
Originally Published on Mar 01, 2022
Edited by Sarah Nyamekye
Fact-checked by Sudeshna Nag
Various Mount Everest animals tend to get acclimatized in this inhabitable region.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.0 Min

Every mountaineer's fantasy, Mount Everest, is divided between Nepal, Tibet, and China and holds the record of being the highest peak in the world.

Mount Everest was given its name by George Everest. In Nepal, it goes by the name of Sagarmatha and Chomolungma in Tibet.

Mount Everest is considered to be in the third pole and the source of major rivers of Asia. This region is also responsible for keeping in check the Earth's climate.

The civilization in these outskirts has a different kind of lifestyle. Buddhism and Hinduism were introduced here. With a growing population, vulnerable areas are treated as isolated pockets for growing timber and food crops.

WWF is trying hard to cope with these threats by bringing together communities by managing and restoring them. The organization's ties with Nepal, Bhutan, and Indian governments help them to further their work. They also have technical support, try to endorse public awareness through education, and are making a sustained effort to generate more income based on sustainable practices.

Having various ranges of endangered animals, conservation is the only way to restrain their habitat. 300 mammals, 176 reptiles, 269 fish, 977 birds, 105 amphibians, and 10,000 plants are found in this region. Mountains became their only refuge, however, the human-wildlife conflict is now becoming a serious setback in the preservation of these vulnerable animals.

Forest conversion, charcoal production, deforestation, and poaching are some of the grievous threats. Even now climate change and melting glaciers are possessing great threats globally. WWF is trying its best to retain conservation.

Types Of Animals On Mount Everest

Although Mount Everest is not one of the most comfortable places for a living, still it has a wide range of endangered species in the wildlife.

The indigenous Himalayan tahr became populous in the eastern parts of Everest in Nepal. Hunting and declining habitat have put Himalayan tahrs on IUCN red list. In their mating season, males are seen to headbutt their partners. The female Himalayan tahr weighs less and has small horns.

With a herbivorous diet, a Himalayan tahr has a life expectancy of 14-15 years. They have reddish wool coats to survive in severe winters. These animals can be sighted in the Phortse and Pangboche areas of Nepal.

The snow leopard is native and is considered an Endangered species. Only 10,000 or less of their kind are spotted in the region making it a major concern.

It is likely that there will be a decline in snow leopards by 10% till 2040 due to poaching and knocking down their habitat. Their population is seen in Afghanistan, Tibetan Plateau, and in Nepal region.

Over time, they have evolved to withstand the bitter cold.

They have small rounded ears to retain heat, broad paws helping them to walk on snow with fur on a back portion giving them stability in slippery surfaces, and a thick tail to keep them steady and help them to survive through winter. The snow leopard is commonly seen in the Gokyo Lake region.

Red pandas are now classed as Vulnerable animals that are about to enter the last phase, Extinction. These giant pandas are hunted down for their reddish-brown fur.

A red panda usually survives on bamboo but rarely they are seen to eat insects and birds. The red panda has a tendency to be territorial and is a solitary animal. The red panda is passive diurnal and familiar in the Jorsale area.

Though musk deer share some similarities with the deer, there are some differences in their body structure. They have a musk gland in the middle of their genitals and umbilicus rather than having facial glands and antlers.

During mating season, the secretion from these glands is responsible for enchanting females. Musk deer are territorial, nocturnal, maintain a herbivorous diet, and are common in the Tengboche, Phortse, and Deboche areas of Nepal. The secretion from these glands which give these deer their name is worth $45,000 per unit.

The wild yak is a bovine herbivorous animal native to the Himalayas. Females weigh less than males by 30%. An average yak has a bulky structure, sturdy legs, rounded cloven hooves, and a wooly undercoat. They are seen at Lake Baikal in southern parts of Siberia, alpine tundra, and Namche-Tengboche of Nepal.

What do animals on Mount Everest eat?

Living in these regions is not easy and finding food can become difficult in the biting cold winter.

In the Mount Everest hilly areas, a comprehensive carnivore diet includes omnivores and herbivores. For instance, many Himalayan tahrs will feed on any type of grass available. The Red panda, also a herbivorous animal, feeds on bamboo and leaves and can also have insects and bird eggs under dire situations.

A rapid decline in any species in the food chain can significantly affect others' survival. Those who follow an omnivorous diet hold the diversity, their digestive system is competent to survive on plants or meat. Their basic diet is vegetables, fruits, reptiles, insects, and mammals (depending on the bodily structure of the predator).

Snow leopards in this region are the carnivores that can kill animals that are thrice their body weight. Some of the animals they prey upon are deer, Himalayan pikas, blue sheep, and wild sheep.

Mount Everest was given its name by George Everest

Mount Everest Animal Species Diversity

A small proportion of animals can survive on Mount Everest. The species of animals that are found here cannot be found anywhere else.

The Himalayan black bear is an omnivorous animal and they share a resemblance with Asian black bears. They are mostly dominant in Nepal, Bhutan, China, India, and Pakistan. Himalayan black bears usually dwell at 9,842.5-12,139.1 ft (3,000-3,700 m) of altitude in warm regions.

The Himalayan pika is a mammal species that is found in screes, rocky regions, coniferous forests at 7,874-13,779.5 ft (2,400-4,200 m) of altitude, distant from human civilization.

The mountain weasel is nocturnal and leads a solitary life. They usually live in burrows, tree trunks in Kazakhstan, and the Everest area. Their petite body structure helps them to run, swim, and climb very efficiently. During mating to survive from predators they communicate through vision and voice.

The yellow-throated marten is an omnivorous Asian species that has white, black golden yellow fur, muscular structure, and an absurd fragrance. They are commonly seen in the lower Namche region of Nepal.

Ruppell's griffon vulture is the highest-flying bird that can be seen in this region at 37,000 ft (11,277.6 m) of altitude. Some other birds found here are the blood pheasant, Tibetan snow cocks, and Himalayan monal. No animals venture to the higher altitudes.

Species Of Conservation Concern

The place may not be ergonomic to dwell upon for animals of every kind. The discovered animals on peaks are mostly Endangered and exotic. On a CI's rapid assessment expedition Leeanne Alonso with his team found an animal of that kind.

Between 1998 and 2008, an estimated 35 animals were discovered in the Hindukush Himalayan cradle. With climate change and the alteration of the ecosystem, animals can lack resilience and lose their habitat.

Territorial and transnational cooperation is the key to restoring and preserving them, Sustainable Development Goals can be helpful. Integrated efforts beyond geographical boundaries, socio-cultural, economic and are needed, global investments are required beyond political compromises.

SDG 15 manifests and asks the authority to act upon conserving habitats, terrestrial ecosystems, desertification, land degradation, and these are supposed to get implemented by 2030. Himalayan tahrs (wild mountain goats), red panda, musk deer, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, wild yak, mountain weasel, Himalayan pika, and yellow-throated marten are currently listed on the IUCN red list.

The bar-headed goose, large cats, Tibetan gazelle, wild goats, Himalayan jumping spiders, and blue sheep are seen but are becoming Vulnerable due to ecological degradation.

Reason Why Animals Live On Mount Everest

Many animals are destined to be in a certain habitat. In Mount Everest, where a blanket of ice covers the mountains all year round, animals need unique adaptation features.

Habitats can be differentiated with various climates and locations, it can be warm, moist, or cold. Their survival varies on their anatomical and physiological adaptations. These treacherous mountains can provide huge limitations. Shorter legs, tails, thick fur to provide heat, and being able to store fat can help them to survive in these tough conditions.

Hibernation with low metabolism can be an extension of survival. Some species are apparently seen to migrate. Insects use their bodily fluid to help them from getting frozen.

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Written by Ayan Banerjee

Bachelor of Science specializing in Nautical Science

Ayan Banerjee picture

Ayan BanerjeeBachelor of Science specializing in Nautical Science

Thanks to his degree in nautical science from T.S. Chanakya, IMU Navi Mumbai Campus, Ayan excels at producing high-quality content across a range of genres, with a strong foundation in technical writing. Ayan's contributions as an esteemed member of the editorial board of The Indian Cadet magazine and a valued member of the Chanakya Literary Committee showcase his writing skills. In his free time, Ayan stays active through sports such as badminton, table tennis, trekking, and running marathons. His passion for travel and music also inspire his writing, providing valuable insights.

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Fact-checked by Sudeshna Nag

Master of Arts specializing in History

Sudeshna Nag picture

Sudeshna NagMaster of Arts specializing in History

Having earned a Master's degree in History from the Presidency University in Kolkata, Sudeshna was able to refine these skills and broaden her knowledge base. Not only is she an accomplished fact-checker, but she is also deeply invested in gender research, societal interactions, and mental health. Her professional repertoire also includes experience in translation between Bengali and English content

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