Bhutan Flora & Fauna
Bhutan has a rich and varied biological diversity. Very few countries in the world match Bhutan’s biological diversity and fewer still have taken such strong steps to conserve their biodiversity. Bhutan, for example, has its own Biodiversity Action Plan. The country ranks amongst the top ten percent of highest species density (species richness per unit area) in the world, and it has the largest proportion of land under protected areas.
Some 26.23% of the country’s area is protected through National Parks. In addition, a further 9% has been declared as Biological Corridors, connecting protected areas, and there are a series of Conservation Areas intended to protect important conservation sites outside the formal Protected Areas system. As a result, more than 35% of the country’s area is under the protection of some form of conservation management. This system serves as a globally unique system for in situ conservation of biodiversity.
Regarding diversity at the species level, inventories have indicated that there are more than 5,500 species of vascular plants, more than 770 species of avifauna and more than 165 species of mammals, with many species being endemic to Bhutan.
Bhutan is a botanists’ paradise. One of the ancient names given to Bhutan was ‘Southern Valley of Medicinal Herbs.’ Rhododendrons, junipers, magnolias, carnivorous plants, rare orchids, blue poppy (the national flower), edelweiss, gentian, medicinal plants, Daphne, giant rhubarb, high-altitude plants, tropical trees, pine and oak abound here.
Among the rare and exotic faunas found in Bhutan the golden langur, red pandas, black-necked crane, snow leopard, takin, musk deer, Himalayan brown bear, Himalayan marten, tiger, hornbills, pheasants, mountain goats and timid blue sheep are some.