Photographer's Note

The Deosai National Park is located in Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. The park is located on the Deosai Plains of the Karakoram-West Tibetan Plateau alpine steppe, among the highest plateaus in the world with an average height of 4,114 metres (13,497 ft) above the sea level, covering an area of about 3,000 square kilometres (1,200 sq mi). For just over half the year - between November and May - Deosai is snow-bound. In the summer months when the snow clears up, Deosai is accessible from Skardu in the north and the Astore Valley in the west. Deosai is well known for its spring season when it is covered by a carpet of millions of flowers and a wide variety of butterflies.
The Deosai Plains can be accessed via two routes. One is through Skardu and the second through Astore District. The route from Skardu via an unpaved road can be hiked in two days. By jeep it is only a matter of hours. ffrom District Astore is comparatively lengthy. It starts from Astore, continues through Chilum before climbing to Deosai. Deosai Lake is located in Gilgit-Baltistan. Deosai means the "Land of Giants". It is the second highest plateau in the world after Tibet. The beauty of Himalayas is visible everywhere around Deosai. It is also the home to the endangered Himalayan brown bear. Fewer than 19 bears lived there in 90's and now the population is on the increase. The view here is taken at Sheosar Lake in Deosai.
Deosai Plains make up one of the last frontiers of natural habitat for the Himalayan Brown Bear, a creature that once roamed the mountains freely. The Deosai National Park was established in 1993 to secure the survival of the bear and its habitat. Having long been a prize kill for poachers and hunters, the bear, Pakistan's largest omnivore, now has a hope for survival in Deosai where its number has increased from just 19 in 1993 to 40 in 2005.

The Deosai Plains are also home to the Himalayan Ibex, Red Fox, Golden Marmot, Wolf, the Ladakh Urial, the Snow Leopard, and over 124 resident and migratory birds. Birds in the park include the Golden Eagle, Lammergeier, Griffon Vulture, Laggar Falcon, Peregrine Falcon, Kestrel, Indian Sparrowhawk and Snowcock.

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Additional Photos by Zahoor Ahmed (zahoor_salmi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 59 W: 0 N: 171] (1053)
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