Bhutan is considered one of the top biodiversity hotspots in the world. Bhutan has a forest cover of 72% of the total land in the country. 60% of the total land comes under protected areas.
The wide range of climate, altitude and huge conversation efforts the availability of flora and fauna in the country is unparalleled.
Plants and trees in Bhutan.
Bhutan has forest types of fir, mixed conifers, blue pine, chirpine, mixed board leafed, upland hardwood, lowland hardwood and tropical. There are about 300 species of medicinal plants and 46 species of rhododendron. Because Bhutan is rich in medicinal plants, Bhutan was once known as “Lhojong Menjong”, the land of medicinal herbs. A few plants and trees that can be seen around Bhutan are; Junipers, magnolias, orchids of various colours, gentian, Daphne, giant rhubarb, rhododendron of various colors, different kinds of medicinal plants, fir, pine, oaks etc. It is said that almost 60% of the plant species of the eastern Himalaya are found in Bhutan.
Birds in Bhutan.
Bhutan has large variety of bird species. Bhutan is a hub of 221 global endemic bird areas and is known as the East Himalayan hotspot. Till date 670 bird species has been discovered and recorded in Bhutan and the number is increasing. From the 670 species discovered, 415 are resident bird species which are altitudinal refugees travelling around the mountains as per the seasons and weather conditions, around 50 species are birds that migrate during the winters and around 40 are partial migrants. Some of the winter migrants are buntings, waders, ducks, thrushes, black necked cranes and other birds of prey. And some of the partial migrants include species such as swifts, cuckoos, bee-eaters, fly catchers and warblers. Around 16 species of birds found in Bhutan are endangered worldwide. These are the Black necked cranes, Pallas fish eagle, Blyth’s fisher and the white bellied heron to name a few.
Animals in Bhutan.
Many interesting and rare animals are found in the forests of Bhutan. In the northern Bhutan animals like wild sheep, wild goats, snow leopard, musk deer, brown bear, etc. are found. It is said that these area is also home to the snow man or Yeti. The present generation has not seen this. Perhaps this rare beast is becoming extinct now. Presently, the Bengal Tigers were spotted in the forest of the central belt. In the southern forest animals such as elephants, rhinos, deer, etc. including the golden langur are found.
Preservation and Protection flora and fauna
Bhutan is very strict and committed with the preservation of its flora and fauna. Bhutan currently has 12 natural reserves. These reserves are:
|1. Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary||2. Jigme Dorji National Park|
|3. Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park||4. Royal Manas National Park|
|5. The Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary||6. Khaling Wild Life Sanctuary|
|7. Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary||8. Thrumsingla National Park|
|9. Torsa Strict Nature Reserve||10. Wangchuk Centennial Reserve|
|11. Motithang Takin Preserve||12. Phobjikha Valley|
A few of the organization working in Bhutan towards to preservation of flora and fauna are:
- National Environment Commission
- Royal Society for Protection of Nature
- Department of Forestry Services
- Nature Conversation Department
- Bhutan Trust Fund