The magnificent hangul or Kashmir stag is the main mammal in the area and Dachigam is also home to the elusive snow leopard, marten, ibex, musk deer and other animals characteristic of the Himalayas. Birds like the Koklas pheasant and the monal pheasant inhabit the region. Srinagar’s Harwan Reservoir is fed by the numerous streams in the Dachigam forests, making the park a crucial catchment area. Since 1989, political unrest has caused this area to be severely affected as shifting priorities, terrorists and Indian officials have all played a part in the downfall of the park. The area is, however, always breathtaking and more adventurous wildlife enthusiasts can still enter the park.
Apart from its unspoiled natural beauty, its most important wildlife remains the Hangul (Kashmiri stag), an endangered species of red deer. Despite its substantial harshness, the winter season is the best time to view the hangul, when it gathers in the shelter of the lower valleys. The leopard, which is the only predatory animal in the area, has been rarely spotted. It is the same with the hard-to-pin-down snow leopard found in the higher altitudes. However, tourists with resilience, patience and a little luck have had the fortune of seeing these unique wild cats. Apart from the hangul and the two varieties of leopards, various other species like Himalayan black bear, musk deer, Himalayan marmot and species of wild goats like the makhor are found at Dachigam.