Bhutan has a very rich species of flora ranging from altitudes as low as 200m to as high as 4000m. Over 5500 species of vascular plants have been recorded till date including 46 species of Rhododendrons and 369 species of Orchids. The Bhutan Himalayas is also important source of valuable medicinal plants used in ayurvedic medicine so much so that a National Institute of Traditional Medicine has been established at Thimphu.
Bhutan is positioned at the junction of migrating birds and animals and is a treasure house for those who wish to discover different species of flora and fauna. The two distinctive climatic conditions, tropical rainforests in the south and the alpine in the north have permanent residents of many fauna and some are yet to be named. Because of the lack of specialist in the field of flora and fauna, few thin books are available but not enough have been said and very few details. Of the few species that are unique to Bhutan are rhododendron kesangiai and sixteen species of globally endangered birds.
Buddhism and nature are often considered as partners and the elements that are supporting the living beings are interdependent, the government of Bhutan has given a priority to preserve environment and received a medal from the UN for preservation in 2004.
The Kingdom of Bhutan is a small, landlocked nation nestled in the southern slopes of the Eastern Himalaya. To its north lies the Tibet Autonomous Region of China and to the west, south and east lies the Indian states of Sikkim, Bengal, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
Bhutan is visually and environmentally stunning and it is a living art. Elevations from 250 meters in the south to more than 7500meters in the north are home to those migrating birds and animals and the nature is still intact today.
This has created an asset of environmental alcove to which local plants and animals have adapted in a remarkable number and variety of ways and still flourishing. There are, more than 46 species of rhododendron, 770 species of mushrooms, 780 species of birds have evolved, considering the size of the country as same size as Switzerland. Bhutan is a dwelling for exotic mammals such as Takin (a large, musk-ox-like animal), clouded leopards and red pandas. Bird species range from the cutia and boreal owl to the tiny black-throated Parrotbill. Bhutan is a country full of natural wonders where people and nature live in harmony and respect each other.
The Eastern Himalayas have been identified as a global biodiversity hotspot and counted among the 234 globally outstanding Eco regions of the world in a comprehensive analysis of global biodiversity undertaken by WWF between1995-97. Bhutan is seen as a model for proactive conservation initiatives. The Kingdom has received international acclaim for its commitment to the maintenance of its biodiversity. This is reflected in the decision to maintain at least sixty percent of the land area under forest cover, to designate more than a quarter of its territory as national parks, reserves and other protected areas, and most recently to identify a further nine percent of land area as biodiversity corridors linking the protected areas. Environmental conservation has been placed at the core of the nation’s development strategy, the middle path. It is not treated as a sector but rather as a set of concerns that must be mainstreamed in Bhutan’s overall approach to development planning and to be buttressed by the force of law.