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Page:Provincial geographies of India (Volume 1).djvu/111

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ch. viii]
91
BEASTS, BIRDS, FISHES, AND INSECTS

parrots, crows, and vultures are familiar sights. Both the sharp-nosed (Garialis Gangetica, vern. gharidl) and the blunt-nosed (Crocodilus palustris, vern. magar) crocodiles haunt the rivers. The fish are tasteless; the rohu and mahseer are the best. Poisonous snakes are the karait, the cobra, and Russell's viper. The first is sometimes an intruder into houses. Lizards and mongooses are less unwelcome visitors. White ants attack timber and ruin books, and mosquitoes and sand-flies add to the unpleasant features of the hot weather. The best known insect pest is the locust, but visitations on a large scale are rare. Of late years much more damage has been done by an insect which harbours in the cotton bolls.

Game of the Mountains.—If sport in the plains has ceased to be first rate, it is otherwise in the hills. Some areas and the heights at which the game is to be found are noted below :

(a) Goats and goat-antelopes:
1. Ibex (Capra Sibirica) 10,000-14,000 ft. Kashmir, Lahul, Bashahr.
2. Markhor (Capra Falconeri). Kashmir, Astor, Gilgit, Suliman hills.
3. Thar (Hemitragus jemlaicus), 9000-14,000 ft. Kashmir, Chamba.
4. Gural (Cemas goral), 3000-8000 ft. Kashmir, Chamba, Simla hills, Bashahr.
5. Serow (Nemorhaedusbubalinus), 6000-12,000 ft. From Kashmir eastwards.
(b) Sheep:
1. Bharal (Ovis nahura), 10,000-12,000 ft. and over. Ladakh, Bashahr.
2. Argali (Ovis Ammon). Ladakh.
3. Urial (Ovis Vignei) Salt Range, Suliman hills.