by David Anderson, CNHP Director
|Our expeditionary force on top of Dwara Pass (about 14,000 ft elev).
From left to right: Umed Singh, Dr. Ishwari Rai, B. Khoyal, David Anderson,
Rakesh Bhatt, Jitendra Panwar, and Dinesh Khoyal.
|A herd of goats and sheep above the treeline.|
|Danthonia cachemyriana- dominated grassland at approximately 13,000 feet
in the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary- this site is in excellent condition.
|Degraded Danthonia grassland with increasing dominance of
nitrophilous species. The broad-leaved plant is the most common
indicator of overgrazing here, Polygonum polystachium.
|Heavily degraded area that has lost all graminoid species, dominated almost entirely
by Polygonum polystachium. Note that Danthonia is still present on top of the large
rock at top right of the photo where the livestock can’t eat it!
One of the highlights of this trip was the discovery of a new site for Platanthera pachycaulon. Dr. Ishwari recently rediscovered this species of orchid at a site west of here- it was first described in the 1800’s but hadn’t been seen in over 100 years. This story is much like that of Gilia sedifolia in Colorado. The site that Dr. Ishwari found on this trip (which was right next to our campsite!) is now a second location for this species.
|Platanthera pachycaulon, discovered by Dr. Ishwari at our campsite!
This specimen will be deposited in the Herbarium of the Botanical Survey of India.
|Mountains at the head of Mandani Valley during a break in the Monsoon.
These mountains start about where ours end in Colorado! Photo by Ishwari Datt Rai.