We were deeply inspired by the incredible region of the Himalayas, which is why we chose to feature it in our first expansion pack. Nestled in the Indian subcontinent, it spans almost 2,500km wide, across seven countries. This diverse region is home to over 10,000 types of plant and 300 species of mammal.
Many of these species only exist in this specific part of the world, and many are extremely endangered due to illegal poaching, climate change, and growing human populations fragmenting the space available for wildlife. We hope you enjoy building an ecosystem in Tyto Ecology as you learn about 28 selected species in this expansion!
A relative of the raccoon (but not the giant panda), the endangered red panda is a resident of temperate Himalayan forests. They are fond of bamboo leaves, and spend most of their days lounging in trees. Due to habitat loss and poaching, there are now fewer than 10,000 adult red pandas in the wild.
Asian elephants hail from the easten Himalayas, where they make their homes in forests and scrublands. These highly intelligent, social animals are endangered. Studies estimate that their population has decreased by 50% over the past 50 years due to deforestation, loss of habitat, and poaching.
The endangered Bengal tiger can be found in the foothills of the Himalayas. Though they have the largest population of all tiger species, studies estimate that there are fewer than 2,500 individuals remaining in the wild today.
Pangolins are the most illegally-trafficked mammal on Earth, and the Chinese pangolin is the most critically endangered of all eight subspecies. These slow-moving, toothless animals curl into a ball to protect themselves from predators, and their diet consists solely of insects. They are poached for their meat and scales.
Also called a 'whistling dog,' for the whistling sounds they use to communicate, dholes are social animals who travel in packs. Dholes are endangered due to loss of habitat and prey, persecution from humans, and disease transfer from domestic dogs.
Marmots are found in the high, alpine regions of the Himalayas. A relative of the woodchuck, marmots are herbivores who live in dens underground.
Found at the foot of the Himalayas, the one-horned rhino is a grazing animal who is fond of water. Though rhino populations have been slowly increasing in recent years, poaching and loss of habitat have kept them on the endangered species list.
The Asian black bear is an omnivore native to the colder regions of the Himalayas. They are sometimes called 'moon bears' because of the crescent-shaped mark on their chest. These bears are listed as vulnerable due to poaching and deforestation.
The high, snowy Himalayan mountains are home to the endangered snow leopard, where they are an apex predator. It is estimated that there may be fewer than 2,500 reproducing individuals left in the wild today.
The Himalayas is an incredibly diverse region. In addition to the species above, we also included the pika, chevrotain, muntjac, musk deer, paris peacock butterfly, and green hawk moth as consumers, and the stag beetle as a decomposer.