Himalayan Mountain Biome

The Himalayan Alpine range is located in Asia in the countries of Nepal, Tibet (China), India, Pakistan and Bhutan. The range makes a curve of 1,500 miles through Southern Asia

Because the Himalayan mountain range is at a high altitude the air is very thin. The air is also very dry and has a very low precipitation level. The mountains rise from the plains of northern India which are about 1,000 feet above sea level. From these plains many of the mountains rise more than 3 miles above sea level; Mount Everest is 29,028 feet above sea level. The climate is very cold and is hard to survive in most parts. There are two main seasons winter and summer. The winters are long and very cold and the summers are short and cool. It is so cold because of its high altitude.

Rhododendron plants grow on most mountains. Oak, laurel and chestnut trees are also found up to 7,000 feet above sea level. Pine trees are found up to 12,000 feet above sea level; above that point only lichens, grass and moss can be found, since it is so cold in the higher regions. Only certain plants are designed to grow in such harsh conditions.

Native peoples have learned to grow crops such as tea, rice and barley on the southern end of the mountain range. Also in that area tropical plants may be found, as well as animals such as the tiger, monkey, leopard and the Asian elephant. One of the main animals of this mountainous biome is the yak. The yak can be over six feet tall and usually weighs 1,100-1,200 pounds. You may think its weight would make it clumsy, but actually it is very agile. When provoked it will charge with its horns. It has special bodily functions such as a lot of long hair for warmth.

The Himalayan biome is ever growing more polluted, due to the growing popularity of climbing the mountains. When people go up, all their supplies are left on the mountain because it takes too much energy to bring it down again. If someone dies, their body is left on the mountain. Many people have climbed Mount Everest, and right now a man is attempting to become the first blind man to reach the summit.

by Patrick T.  2001


Hafner, James A. Ph.D., Prof. of Geography and Director, Asian Studies, Univ. of Massachusetts.

Hillary, Sir Edmund P. LL.D., New Zealand Ambassador to India; Explorer and Mountain Climber; Author, High Adventure; First to Reach the Summit of Mount Everest.

Fisher, James F. Ph.D., Prof. and Chairman, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton College.

Diamond, Norma. Ph.D., Prof. of Anthropology, Univ. of Michigan.

Taylor, C. Richard. Ph.D., Former Charles P. Lyman Prof. of Biology, Harvard Univ.