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Who Visited The Ibex Carcass?

In the winter, in the mountains of the Upper Hunza, a carcass of a Himalayan ibex was found in the snow. A snow leopard had hunted it and it had been there for several days. This is a summary of the wild animals of the Karakoram that were captured by camera traps for 5 days there.

Who came on Carcass of Ibex?

Wildlife that was spotted: Snow Leopard, Yellow-billed Chough, Red-billed Chough (not shown in the video), Red Fox, Raven and Bearded Vulture

The ibex was said to have been hunted a few days before (maybe a week earlier), and there was still a little meat left on the ibex’s carcass. It seemed that it had fallen into the river while being hunted, and then pulled out of the water, so the carcass was frozen solid (the temperature is minus 20 degrees). In the video, there is a snow leopard that checks around the ibex but not eating it. It is possible that this might be a different snow leopard than the one which caught it.

Luckily, the camera trap was set up at just the right angle to be able to capture the entire body of the snow leopard, including its long tail. The time is 6:08 pm and it showed up shortly after dark.

There were some red foxes that came in the night and also during the day. According to the difference in their fur, it seemed like two different foxes had come to eat some of the leftovers.

We were also very excited to see a bearded vulture which was caught on camera as well! It was seen alongside with a common raven, and immediately flew away.

Even though it is just a single ibex, it becomes an important food source for a lot of different animals. Nature is really amazing.

 

Image & text: Mariko SAWADA
Observation: Jan 2023, Gojar, Gilgit-Baltistan

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Category : - Snow Leopard > = Video Clip Gilgit-Baltistan > ◆ Video Breathtaking Views of Pakistan > ◆ Gilgit-Baltistan > - Gojar > ◇ Birds of Pakistan > ◇ Wildlife of Pakistan
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Lammergeier, Bearded Vulture of Khunjerab National Park

This is the Bearded Vulture in Khunjerab National Park. Just as its name suggests, it looks like a vulture with a beard.

The Gypaetus barbatus is also known as the lammergeier, which are a large bird of prey that makes up the only one in its’ genus Gypaetus and is most closely related to the Egyptian vulture(Neophron percnopterus), and with the Palm-nut vulture(Gypohierax angolensis) they form a subphyla of the vulture subfamily. The tail is a rare diamond-shaped one, uncommon among raptors.

These bearded vultures feed on carrion, mainly bone and marrow. Small bones are swallowed whole, and digested by strong gastric juices. Larger bones that have lots of marrow are dropped from the sky, to break them apart and make them easier to consume.

This time, I saw a bearded vulture dropping a bone at Khunjerab Pass (around 4,600m). It may be hard to see because it’s quite far away, but I got a video of its behavior.

The Lammergeier dropping a bone from high above: Bone crasher!

The bearded vulture is a large bird with a total length of 115 cm and a wingspan of nearly 3 meters. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed by its size when it flies right overhead.

The bearded vulture as it descends along the cliffs of the Khunjerab River.

The Lammergeier found a carcass of an ibex on the banks of the river and perched on a rock nearby. It must have been frustrated that it couldn’t get into the narrow riverbed, since its wings might not fit into the space.

 

Photo & text : Mariko SAWADA

Observation :Spring 2022, Khunjerab National Park

For observation, photography of wildlife, birds of Pakistan, please contact us, Indus Caravan.

Youtube Channel – Indus Caravan  

Category : = Video Clip Gilgit-Baltistan > - the Karakoram Highway > ◆ Gilgit-Baltistan > ◇ Birds of Pakistan > - Khunjerab National Park
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CONCORDIA 360 DEGREE

We stayed at Concordia on a truly cloudless, crystal clear morning in mid-June. The video was rattled by manual paaning, but I made a 360-degree mountain view video from Concordia.

CONCORDIA 360 DEGREE

 

Image by Mariko SAWADA

A big thank you to the the whole Baltoro Glacier trekking team for working with us!

 

Related article

Youtube : Our baltoro Trek in 1 Min !

K2 & Baltoro Glacier Trekking 2022 (Part 1) Skardu to Paiju

K2 & Baltoro Glacier Trekking 2022 (Part 2) Paiju to Khoburtse

K2 & Baltoro Glacier Trekking 2022 (Part 3) Khoburtse to Urdukas

K2 & Baltoro Trekking 2022 (Part 4) Urdukas to GoreⅡ

K2 & Baltoro Trekking 2022 (Part 5) GoreⅡ to Concordia

Staying in Concordia, surrounded by the high Peaks of the Karakorum: K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum Mountain Range

★★★★★

*Contact us, Indus Caravan for more information or to make arrangements for your Baltoro Glacier trek.

Category : - Baltoro Glacier & Concordia > = Video Clip Gilgit-Baltistan > - Baltoro Glacier & Concordia > ◆ Video Breathtaking Views of Pakistan > ◆ Gilgit-Baltistan > ◇ Mountain of Pakistan > - Karakorum Range
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Our Baltoro Trek in 1 min

Here’s a staff-centric video clip of our first post-pandemic Bartolo Glacier trek in June 2022! Well done to all the guides, kitchen staff, sardars, and porters who made the round trip to Concordia multiple times this season!

Our Baltoro Trek in 1 min

Image by  Mariko SAWADA

A big thank you to the the whole Baltoro Glacier trekking team for working with us!

 

Related article

Youtube : CONCORDIA 360 DEGREE

K2 & Baltoro Glacier Trekking 2022 (Part 1) Skardu to Paiju

K2 & Baltoro Glacier Trekking 2022 (Part 2) Paiju to Khoburtse

K2 & Baltoro Glacier Trekking 2022 (Part 3) Khoburtse to Urdukas

K2 & Baltoro Trekking 2022 (Part 4) Urdukas to GoreⅡ

K2 & Baltoro Trekking 2022 (Part 5) GoreⅡ to Concordia

Staying in Concordia, surrounded by the high Peaks of the Karakorum: K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum Mountain Range

★★★★★

*Contact us, Indus Caravan for more information or to make arrangements for your Baltoro Glacier trek.

Category : - Baltoro Glacier & Concordia > = Video Clip Gilgit-Baltistan > ◆ Video Breathtaking Views of Pakistan > - Baltoro Glacier & Concordia > ◆ Gilgit-Baltistan > ◇ Mountain of Pakistan
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(Movie) Himalayan Ibex Fighting For Dominance

Normally the peak of the Ibex rutting season is in December to January, and that is when you would expect to see them battling it out for dominance with the sounds of antlers clashing. However, this time, we found a group of them challenging each other, on a snowy spring April day, using the rocky outcrop as their stage.

Himalayn Ibex fighting for the dominance

From Dec 2021 to Feb 2022, there was some unfortunate illegal hunting that took place in Khunjerab National Park, resulting in the loss of a significant number of Ibex. Up to now, trophy hunting had been tightly controlled by national parks managed and the KVO community management system. But now the carefully managed Ibex population, which had been recovering, due to the heartless actions of people who are willing to cheat the system, has started to dwindle again. This in turn, affects the snow leopards, which forces them to start hunting among the villagers’ livestock for food. This causes the human-wildlife conflict issues to escalate in the harsh winter.

By the time we arrived, the case had already been resolved by the person in charge, but the lasting impact on the wildlife populations and people who live with them, will not be restored so quickly. Now we need to worry about the situation for next winter, as well.

 

Image & text : Mariko SAWADA

Observation : Apr 2022, Khunjerab National Park

Category : = Video Clip Gilgit-Baltistan > ◆ Video Breathtaking Views of Pakistan > ◆ Gilgit-Baltistan > - Ibex > - Khunjerab National Park > ◇ Wildlife of Pakistan
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Skardu’s superb landscapes; Walking the Sarfranga Cold Desert

This is a photo of the Sarfranga Cold Desert, taken from the drone we sent up from the entrance of the Shigar Valley on the outskirts of Skardu.

Located along the Indus River in Skardu, the Sarfranga Cold Desert is a dry desert system surrounded by alpine mountains at an altitude of 2,500m (8,202 ft). The strikingly beautiful sand dunes along the banks of the Indus river, form part of the desert,

Sarfranga Cold Desert (Skardu)

It was a particularly beautiful morning, visiting these rare wonders of the world “sand dunes surrounded by snowy alpine peaks.” Even for these well-traveled people, who had already seen various deserts around the world, this was a rare sight indeed.

Off in the distance we could see Hussain Abad Village.

Climbing the highest dune, we could enjoy a 360°view of the high alpine peaks all around us.

 

Image & Text : Mariko SAWADA

Visit : Oct 2021, Sarfraga Cold Desert, Shigar-Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan

* Contact Indus Caravan for more information or to make arrangements for your trip to Skardu !

Category : = Video Clip Gilgit-Baltistan > ◆ Video Breathtaking Views of Pakistan > ◆ Gilgit-Baltistan > - Skardu Valley > - Shigar Valley
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Flight PK452、Flying from Skardu to Islamabad!

In a previous blog, we already posted the video of the flight of PK451, flying from Islamabad to Skardu, so now we are posting a video from the return flight PK452 from Skardu, on a relatively good weather day. The clouds were covering Nanga Parbat, as we passed the peak around noon that day.

To the video of PK451

PK452 Skardu to Islamabad

 

Image & text :Mariko SAWADA

Travel date : Oct 2021, taking flight PIA 452 from Skardu to Islamabad

For the arrangement of tavel, shooting in Paistan,  please contact us Indus Caravan.

Youtube Channel – Indus Caravan  

Category : = Video Clip Gilgit-Baltistan > ◆ Video Breathtaking Views of Pakistan > - Nanga Parbat > ◆ Gilgit-Baltistan > - Skardu Valley > ◇ Mountain of Pakistan > - Nanga Parbat / Himalaya Range
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Autumn in the Upper Hunza, a typical evening in the Morkhon and Ghalapan Villages

After a long days of summer spent grazing, in mid-October, the cattle are returned to the village. After that, one a daily schedule the goats and sheep from the village are gathered to go to the pastures for grazing. We arrived in the Upper Hunza’s Ghalapan Village to await the arrival of the goats and sheep in the evening.

 

The Upper Hunza during this season is the most beautiful season, with the poplar trees changing colors. The time to catch their bright yellow leaves in the sunlight is limited because the poplar trees grow in the valleys, surrounded by high peaks all around them.

 

After grazing on the mountain slopes, the goats and sheep have started their decent to the village. Here they come!

 

↓↓ This is a video of the livestock heading back to the villages of Mokrhon and Ghalapan, after a day of grazing. The poplar trees were amazing as well, so that drone footage is included as well!

 

Morkhon & Ghalapan in Autumn|秋の上部フンザの村にて

 

The villagers were waiting for the goats and sheep to come back to the village.

 

They quickly separate out their own livestock from the group. Some of the villagers carry dried apricots as a treat to get the sheep to follow them back to their homes.

 

They have to know which one is their own livestock!

 

This sheep wandered off from the heard and had to be carried back.

 

Each owner brings back their own livestock to their respective shed for the evening. It all happened within a 15 minute window. But this little moment is just the daily life part of a wonderful village life in northern Pakistan.

 

Image : Mariko SAWADA

Visit : Oct 2021, Ghalapan village, Upper Hunza, Gilgit-Baltistan

Category : = Video Clip Gilgit-Baltistan > ◆ Video Breathtaking Views of Pakistan > ◆ Gilgit-Baltistan > - Gojar > - Morkhun > ◇Domestic animal of Pakistan
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View of Nanga Parbat from Flight PK451!

The Pakistan Airlines flight from Islamabad to Skardu on good weather days are renowned for their great views of the world’s 9th highest peak, Nanga Parbat which stands at 8,126 m (26,660 ft).

This video was taken on a sunny day in October during our visit as we flew on flight PK451. I took the video with my iPhone. I have been on this flight a number of times before, but on this day in particular, Nanga Parbat felt closer than ever before!

 

Nanga Parbat from PK451 (Aerial View)

The video linked below was taken with a Go Pro 10 by Amin Gazi Karim of the Indus Caravan who was on the same flight with us. His short reel highlights moments from the entire flight from flying towards Nanga Parbat to our landing in Skardu.

Skardu is now a popular destination among domestic Pakistani tourists, with flights from Karachi and Lahore during the summer season, with three arrivals a day on the weekends. Compared to in the past, there have been improvements on the flight operation rates.

The peak of Nanga Parbat taken from the airplane. There are often clouds on the peak, so we were lucky to have a really clear view.

As we approach Skardu, the snow-capped mountains and valleys begin to appear.

The flow of the Indus River has carved out the Skardu valley. Skardu Airport is right along the riverbank.

Landed at Skardu Airport. With the aim of it becoming an International Airport, there are various projects ongoing to expand it and maintenance is underway. In fact, it is located right on the boarder with India, and the military also uses the airport regularly, so there are plans for a new runway.

On November 30, 2021  Pakistan Airlines closed their branch in Japan. This airline that has connected Tokyo to Islamabad for nearly 30 years, will be gone and makes me so sad.

Thanks to Pakistan International Airlines and everyone who supported flight to Tokyo.

 

Image & text : Mariko SAWADA

Visit :Oct 2021, taking flight PIA 451 from Islamabad to Skardu

Category : = Video Clip Gilgit-Baltistan > ◆ Video Breathtaking Views of Pakistan > ◆ Gilgit-Baltistan > - Skardu Valley > ◇ Mountain of Pakistan > - Nanga Parbat / Himalaya Range
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The Himalayan Brown Bear Before Hibernating: The Deosai Plateau in October

I photographed this Himalayan brown bear in mid-October on the Deosai Plateau. Once October rolls around, the snowy season comes to the grasslands. With the first snowfall, the wild animals are signaled that winter has arrived and their preparations hasten. For example, the long-tailed marmots will surprisingly, all start hibernating at the same time! Just until yesterday, they were out, basking in the sun, but I didn’t see any of them today at all!

This is the wintery scene of the Deosai, near the Barapani camp. According to the National Park staff, the Himalayan brown bears will prey on the long-tailed marmots especially in month of September because they are plump with their winter fat by this time. All the animals are preparing for the long hibernation. Once the marmots stop emerging and enter their hibernation period, the bears will also move from the highlands of about 4,200m (about 13,780ft) to a slightly lower altitude valleys for their own hibernation.

We could see the Himalayan brown bears near the road around Barapani camp!

↓↓↓ A video of the Himalayan brown bears!

Himalayan Brown Bear in Autumn|デオサイ高原のヒマラヤヒグマ

The bears get so large and plump just before hibernating. Just looking at them, fills me with happiness.

This bear has found a comfy spot to sit in the grassland.

The surrounding mountains are already covered in snow. According to our Park staff, it will probably be the last time we will see the brown bears on the Plateau, until next summer.

After the second snow, the Park staff also packed up their base camps and headed back to Skardu. The sheep and goat herders have already descended into the Valley, and winter on the Deosai plateau is setting in.

The long-tailed marmots will hibernate, but the red fox stays active in order to survive the long winter. Even long after the people have gone, I have still seen foxes along the road during our visits.

The number of domestic Pakistani tourists that come to Deosai National Park is increasing and the management of garbage disposal at the campsites is becoming problematic. In 2018 there was a very shocking report that 80% of the content in the bear droppings was plastic. After that, it was reported that the staff of the Park started to make efforts to do cleanups once a week. In addition, it is common to see brown bears in the campsite’s trash areas, so taking more proactive countermeasures is needed.

This awareness sign about the problem has a photo of the bear taken in the summer time. Even in the summer, it is looking so fluffy!

 

Image  & Text : Mariko SAWADA

Observation : Oct 2021, Deosai National Park, Gilgit-Baltistan

Category : = Video Clip Gilgit-Baltistan > ◆ Video Breathtaking Views of Pakistan > ◆ Gilgit-Baltistan > - Himalayan Brown Bear > - Deosai National Park
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