Over 5400 species of plants can be found in Bhutan and more than770 bird species have been recorded in Bhutan. The forest of Bhutan is home to Bengal tigers, golden langur, red panda, Himalayan black bear, snow leopard, blue sheep and marshy valley in the central region and eastern region welcomes the endangered black necked cranes in winter.
Bhutan has 72% of its total land area covered in forest. Its constitution mandates to conserve a minimum of 60% forest cover at all times. Bhutan has many national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and nature preserves spread across the country. All these far spread protected areas are connected with biological corridors to ensure free movement of the animals inhabiting these forests. Environmental conservation and the preservation of its biodiversity efforts have been internationally recognized and today Bhutan remains the only carbon-negative country. Bhutan absorbs more carbon than it emits to the atmosphere.
Protected Areas in Bhutan
Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary
The sanctuary is in the eastern region. It spans 1520 square kilometers spreading in the districts of Lhuentse, Mongar and Tashi Yangtse. The endangered black necked crane migrates from Tibet to this valley in the winter. The sanctuary has been identified as important bird area by Birdlife international.
Jigme Dorji National Park
It is the second largest park and it covers entire Gasa district and also northern region of Thimphu and Paro district and spans further towards Punakha and Wangdue districts. The park has a total area of 4316 square kilometers. The park has recorded 37 species of mammals including several endangered species such as the snow leopard, Bengal tiger and Blue sheep. It also has over 300 species of birds in the area.
Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park
The park covers an area of 1730 square kilometers. The park spans the entire Trongsa district and parts of Tsirang, Sarpang, Wangue and Zhemgang districts. The park protects the largest temperate forests in the entire eastern Himalayas. Some of the notable animals recorded in the park are the black necked cranes, leopard, Asian elephant and tigers.
Royal Manas National Park
The manas national park is the oldest national park in the country. It spans a total area of 1057 square kilometers. The park covers eastern region of Sarpang district and western region of Zhemgang and Pema Gatshel district. The park is home to the golden langurs, Bengal tigers, one horned rhinoceros and wild water buffalo. The manas River is home to the migratory fish called mahseer. The park is also a genetic depository for valuable plants that are used in medicines and food.
Wangchuck Centennial National Park
Centennial is the largest park in the country. It spans over 4914 square kilometers covering major areas of Bumthang, Lhuentse and Wangdue. The park borders with Tibet to the north. The park was established in the honor of the Wangchuk dynasty in 2008. The park includes major rivers in Bhutan including the Punatsang chhu, Mange chhu, Chamkhar chhu and Kuri chhu River. The park is home to over 200 species of plants, 23 mammals and over 100 bird species. Animals include, snow leopard, tigers Budorcas taxicolor and Himalayan black bear.