Bhutan has traditionally adhered to a strict environmental code with a deep reverence for nature. According to the constitution, Bhutan has to maintain 60% of the forest cover. This has nurtured a wealth of flora and fauna in a pristine ecology which boasts 72% forest cover. The rugged mountains and enchanting valleys, winding rivers and colourful lakes, tall shady trees and exquisite flowers make Bhutan a fascinating land and a poet’s dream come alive.
Bhutan has placed environmental conservation at the core of its development strategy and has set aside more than one quarter of the country’s total land area as national parks, nature reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and conservation areas. Bhutan has received international acclaim for its commitment to the maintenance of this biodiversity
Almost three fourths of the land area is covered by forests of alpine, temperate and sub-tropical species that are a natural habitat for a diversity of flora and fauna. Its various eco-systems harbour some of the most exotic species of the eastern Himalayas.
More than 60 percent of the common plant species of the eastern Himalayas can be found within the country. The wealth of floral species include 5,400 vascular plants, 360 species of Orchids, 46 species of Rhododendrons, Junipers, Magnolia, Blue poppies, Edelweiss, Gentians, Primulas, Artemisia, Daphne, Giant Rhubarb, carnivorous plants, high-altitude plants and over 500 species of medicinal plants. Botanists consider the entire country as one beautiful park.
Bhutan is home to a wide range of animals. The high Himalayan fauna include the Blue Sheep, Yaks, Takin, Snow Leopard, Wolf, Marmot and Musk Deer which are some of the species found in the high altitude. Temperate zone is home to Tiger, Leopard, Goral, Himalayan Black Bear, Red Panda, Sambar, Wild pig, Barking Deer and the rare Golden Languar. Along its southern border, subtropical forests have Elephants, Tiger, Gaur, Wild Water Buffalo, Hog Deer, Clouded Leopard, Swamp Deer and other mammals and birds characteristic of Indo-Malayan species.
The rich forests of Bhutan harbours an estimated 770 species of birds which include the Himalayan Griffon, the unique high altitude Wader, the Ibisbill, the spectacular Hornbill, Barbets, Sunbirds, Fulvettas, Yuhinas, Cuckoos, and many more.
The species of fauna are abundant because the great majority of Bhutanese, for religious reasons, neither hunt nor fish.