Kanchendzonga National Park
Spread across an area of 850sq km, Kanchendzonga National Park is the largest wildlife reserve in Sikkim. The third highest peak on the planet – the Kanchendzonga, straddles the western boundary of the park, from which the reserve gets its name. It also includes the vast Zemu Glacier. Situated in such an inaccessible expanse, the region has remained untouched to quite a large extent. It is the home to the snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, Tibetan antelope, wild ass, barking deer, musk deer, flying squirrel and the red panda who live in blissful isolation amongst giant magnolias, rhododendrons and pine forests.
Fambrong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary
Located at the region 15km from Gangtok, the Fambrong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary sprawls across an area of 5,200 ha, and one of its boundaries also fringes the Tashi Viewpoint. The sanctuary supports a large variety of birds and butterflies along with a population of leopards, red pandas, civet cats and the Himalayan black bear.
Singba Rhododendron Sanctuary
Located in North Sikkim, Singba Rhododendron Sanctuary covers a small area of 33ha, and is the best place to see more than 20 different species of rhododendrons endemic to Sikkim. The sanctuary also has a small population of tigers, civets and some birds, including the beautiful blood pheasant which is the state bird of Sikkim.
The Sanctuary offers very good facilities for boarding and lodging provided by the State Government's Tourism, Forest and Public Works Departments.
Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary
Southern Sikkim has the Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary, spread across 3,500ha of land. The temperate forest is home to the red panda, leopard, black eagle and civet cat amongst other animals and birds found in the region. The 3,260ft high Maenam Peak also lies within the confines of the reserve. Rabongla is the closest town to the Sanctuary.
Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary
Adjoining the Changu Lake, the 400ha Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary is at a distance of 36km from Gangtok. This highland sanctuary supports a fascinating array of rhododendrons, primroses, poppies and a variety of wild flowers. It is the home to the gravely endangered musk deer, red panda, Himalayan black bear, serow (long-haired goat) and some species of pheasants.
Pangolakha Wildlife Sanctuary
With the area 12,800 ha. Pangolakha wildlife sanctuary lies in the Pangolakha range which separates Sikkim from Bhutan. This sanctuary has filled with the alpine – temperate - subtropical vegetation, some of them are Rhododendron, silver Fir, and Juniper forest and associated ground flora, moss- filled oak forests with dense bamboo etc. Nathula and Jelepla of this sanctuary are the places for migratory water birds.
Barsey Rhodendron Sanctuary
Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary covers 104 sq km on the western border of Sikkim stretching its area along the Singalila range, the average rainfall of the region is recorded 2000mm. Because of its wet and cold climate the forest is mainly dominated by some pure species of Rhododendrons, orchids, ferns, mosses and lichens. Its altitude of 4000m makes it rich in Medical Plants.
Kitam Bird Sanctuary
Located between 1200 feet and 3200 feet above sea level and covered within a thick temperate vegetation of shrubland and Sal-chir and pine forests, Kitam is home to more than 200 species of birds and butterflies. The beautiful village of Sumbuk and its gladiolas fields, few age-old temples and the emerald green Rangit River make Kitam one of the most beautiful and untouched wilderness in the lower altitudes of Sikkim. Characterized by warm summers and pleasant winters, Kitam Bird Sanctuary bursts with a healthy population of residents like Rufous-necked Hornbill, Grey-crowned Prinia, Rufous-throated Wren-babbler, Yellow-vented Warbler, Wedge-billed Wren-babbler and many more. Migratory birds start visiting from October every year. Peacocks roaming freely is a common sight here. Located between Namchi and Melli, Kitam is also close to some of the most popular tourist destinations like Samdruptse, Solophok, Ravangla and Tarey Bhir.
Rabdentse Ruins Bird Sanctuary
About 3 kms from Pelling and few minutes’ walk further down from Pemayangtse Monastery are the Rabdentse ruins the 2nd capital of Sikkim, founded by the 2nd Chogyal of Sikkim Tensung Namgyal in the year 1670. Rabdentse offers great birding opportunities. Some important species like the Red-faced Liocichla etc are found around these forests. Birds of prey or raptors like Mountain Hawk Eagle, Black Eagle, different cuckoos, Bay Woodpecker, Grey Treepie, White-throated Needletail, Streak-breasted Scimitar Babbler, Striated Laughingthrush, Grey-sided Laughingthrush, Hoary-throated and Rusty-fronted Barwing, Cutias, Minlas, Yuhinas, Sibias, White-browed Shrike-Babbler, Bush Warblers, Snowy-browed Flycatcher, Fire-breasted Flowerpecker, and Red-headed Bullfinch are just some birds recorded here by professional birders.