Northeastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests

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Northeastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests
Biome Temperate coniferous forests
Borders Southeast Tibet shrublands and meadows, Eastern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows, Eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests and Eastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests
Bird species 430[1]
Mammal species 88[1]
Area 46,300 km2 (17,900 sq mi)
Countries India, China and Bhutan
Habitat loss 4.26%[1]
Protected 16.7%[1]

The Northeastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests is a temperate coniferous forests ecoregion of the middle to upper elevations of the eastern Himalayas. It occurs in southeastern Tibet and northeastern India.


Northeastern Himalayan subalpine conifer forests cover 46,300 square kilometres (17,900 sq mi) in the eastern Himalaya, occurring between 2,500 and 4,200 metres (8,200 and 13,800 ft). They occur in along the border of Tibet and India's Arunachal Pradesh state. They are also found in so-called "inner valleys", which are valleys that are shielded from the South Asian monsoon by mountain ridges but still receive enough precipitation to support thriving forests.

In higher elevations, this ecoregion grades into Eastern Himalayan alpine shrub and meadows. In lower elevations it grades into Eastern Himalayan broadleaf forests.


The dominant trees are Tsuga dumosa, Picea smithiana, and Abies spp. Less common are Larix griffithiana, Larix potaninii, Pinus wallichiana, and Taxus baccata. Near timberline are found various junipers: Juniperus indica, Juniperus recurva, and Juniperus squamata.

Betula utilis is often found with the conifers. Other broadleaf plants include Acer spp., Magnolia spp., Sorbus spp., Viburnum spp., Lauraceae, and Aralliaceae.

Rhododendrons reach their pinnacle in this ecoregion. The number of rhododendron species seems to increase above 2,000 metres (6,600 ft), and the Yarlung Tsangpo River gorge alone may harbor over 60 of them.


Important mammals in this ecoregion include the red panda, takin, musk deer, red goral, Asiatic black bear, and leopard.

Significant birds include the Tibetan eared-pheasant, white-eared pheasant, and the giant babax.


This ecoregion tends to be found on steep, inaccessible terrain and thus has avoided significant human settlement

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Hoekstra, J. M.; Molnar, J. L.; Jennings, M.; Revenga, C.; Spalding, M. D.; Boucher, T. M.; Robertson, J. C.; Heibel, T. J.; Ellison, K. (2010). Molnar, J. L., ed. The Atlas of Global Conservation: Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities to Make a Difference. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-26256-0. 

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