Pristine Environment of Bhutan

Natural Beauty of Bhutan Bhutan is one of the last remaining biodiversity hotspots in the world, forest cover has now increased to over 72% of the country, with 60% of the country under protection.

Physically, the country can be divided into three zones:
1. Alpine Zone (4000m and above) with no forest cover;
2. Temperate Zone (2000 to 4000m) with conifer or broadleaf forests;
3. Subtropical Zone (150m to 2000m) with Tropical or Subtropical vegetation.

Forest types in Bhutan are fir forests, mixed conifer forest, blue pine forest, chirpine forest, broadleaf mixed with conifer, upland hardwood forest, lowland hardwood forest, and tropical lowland forests. Almost 60% of the plant species found in the eastern Himalayan region are present in Bhutan.

Bhutan boasts of about 300 species of medicinal plants and about 46 species of rhododendrons. Some common sights for the visitors are the magnolias, junipers, orchids of varied hues, gentian, medicinal plants, Daphne, giant rhubarb, the blue and trees such as fir, pine and oaks.

A wide range of rare and endangered animals can also be found frequenting the dense jungles and high mountains of Bhutan. Due to the countries conservation efforts and its unspoiled natural environment Bhutan supports thriving populations of some of the rarest animals on earth and has thus been classified as one of the last biodiversity hotspots in the world.

Some high altitude species are the snow leopards, Bengal tigers that are found at altitude ranging 3000 to 4000 meters, the red panda, the gorals and the langurs, the Himalayan black bear, sambars, wild pigs, barking deer, blue sheep and musk deer.In the tropical forests of Southern Bhutan one can come across clouded leopards, the one horned rhinoceros, elephants, water buffaloes and swamp deer. You can even find the Golden Langur, a species of monkey that is unique to Bhutan.

Bhutan also has a great variety of bird species. It is recognized as an area of high biological diversity and is known as the East Himalayan 'hot spot', the hub of 221 global endemic bird areas. The recorded number of bird species is over 670 and is expected to rise as new birds are discovered.

Bhutan is also home to about 16 bird species that are endangered worldwide. These include the White bellied heron, Pallas Fish eagle and Blyth's King fisher to name a few. Phobjikha valley in Wangdi and Bomdeling in Trashi Yangtse are also two especially important locations of the endangered Black Necked Cranes.

National Parks and Wild Life Sancturies

Name of ParksFaunnas Found
1. Jigme Singye Wangchuck National ParkMusk deer, Himalayan black bear, Golden Langur, clouded leopard, the red panda and the Royal Bengal tiger are among some of the many species found here. The eastern side of the park supports about 20% of Bhutan's tiger population.
391 bird species of which seven species are among some of the world's most endangered species.
2. TrumshingLa National Parksnow leopards, tigers, red pandas and rare plants.
341 species of birds making it truly a birdwatcher's paradise.
3. Royal Manas National ParkRoyal Bengal tiger, Asian elephant, greater one-horned rhinoceros, clouded leopard, Himalayan black bear, gangetic dolphin, pangolin, rare golden langur, a primate of extraordinary grace and beauty with its long, silky blond fur.
More than 365 species of birds have been officially recorded in Royal Manas National Park with an additional 200 believed to be in residence. Species found here include the globally threatened rufous-necked hornbill, Pallas fishing eagle, great white-bellied heron, spotted wren-babbler, blue-headed rock thrush and emerald cuckoo.
Many of the park's more than 900 types of plants have commercial, medicinal, traditional and religious significance.
4. Jigme Dorji National ParkCharismatic animal species like the Snow Leopard, Takin, Tiger, Black Bear, Blue Sheep and Red Panda inhabit the forests and mountains of the park. This may be the only place in the world where the Royal Bengal tiger and snow leopard habitats overlap. Most of Bhutan's most popular trekking routes can be found inside the Jigme Dorji National Park.
The alpine region houses numerous flowers such as the national flower blue poppy, edelweiss, orchids and rhododendrons among many others.
5. Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary100 species of mammals, including globally endangered species such as snow leopard, Royal Bengal tiger and red panda.
It is also a paradise for butterflies: as of now 130 species have been recorded and another 120 are expected to inhabit this area.
6. Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuarysnow leopards, red pandas, Himalayan black bear, barking deer, Himalayan red fox, the hoary-bellied Himalayan squirrel and even the mythical Yeti (or the "Abominable Snowman").
Bird species include the Assamese macaw, blood pheasant, grey backed shrike, grey headed woodpecker, common hoopoe, rufous vented tit and dark breasted rose finch.
Plant life includes Bhutan's national flower, the blue poppy, rhododendrons, primulas and gentiana, all of which transform the park into a garden of colours during spring time. There are also many plants with medicinal values- such as cordyceps and Rhododendrons.
7. Khaling Wildlife SancturyIt is inhabited by exotic animals like Elephants, Guars, Pygmy Hogs and Hispid Hare
8. Philsoo Wildlife SancturyIt is home to rare and exotic animals such as Elephants, Tigers, Gaurs, Spotted Deer, Axis Deer, Hornbills and Golden Langurs. This park is Bhutan's only natural Sal Forest.
9. Wangchuck Wildlife SanctuaryRoyal Bengal Tiger, Snow leopard, Himalayan Musk Bear.
10. Torsa Strict Nature Reserveits vegetation includes Broad-leaved Forests and Alpine Meadows. This is the only nature reserve in the country that has absolutely no human inhabitants