Bhutan’s National Park system was established to
protect important ecosystems. Corridors between the nine areas were
created in 1999 when an additional 3,800 square km were designated
as protected. The parks also help to preserve Bhutanese culture and
traditions. The parks are not designed for tourism.
Jigme Dorji National Park
At 4,329 sq km Jigme Dorji National Park is the largest protected
area in the country protecting western Paro, Thimpu, Punakha, and
most of Gasa. The park is home to many endangered species, including
the snow leopard, takin, blue sheep, tiger, musk deer, red panda,
and the Himalayan black bear. More than 300 species of birds have
been identified. Three trekking routes cross the park.
Royal Manas National Park
Royal Manas National Park in south central Bhutan is 1023 sq km. The
park adjoins Black Mountains National Park and India’s Manas
National Park and Tiger Reserve together creating 5,000 sq km of
protected area from the south to the Himalayas in the north. It is
home to rhinos, buffalos, tigers, leopards, gaurs, bears, elephants
and several species of deer. Rare species found here include the
golden langur, capped langur, pygmy hog, and hispid hare. Four
varieties of hornbill are among the 362 species of birds in the
Black Mountains National Park
The Black Mountains National Park covers an area of 1,400 sq km
protecting the forests of the middle hills. Animals found in the
park include tigers, Himalayan black bears, leopards, red pandas,
gorals, serows, sambars, wild pigs, and golden langurs, and 449
species of birds. The black-necked crane winters in the park.
Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary
This 278 sq km park protects Bhutan’s only natural sal forest.
Protected species found in the park include the axis deer, chital,
elephant, guar, tiger, golden langur, and hornbill. The park is on
the southern border 50 km east of Pheuntsholing.
Thrumshing La National Park
The 768 sq km park between Bumthan and Mongar protects temperate
forests of fir and chir pine. Red pandas and many endangered birds
are found in the park.
Bomdeling Wildlife Sanctuary
Covering 1,300 sq km Bomdeling Wildlife Sanctuary protects most of
Trashi Yangste Dzongkhag including a large area of alpine tundra.
Home to blue sheep, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, tiger, red
panda, and musk deer. The Bomdeling area is a roosting place for the
black-necked crane. Lying on the eastern border it adjoins a planned
park in Arunachal Pradesh, India.
Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary
Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary is the only place in the world dedicated
to protecting the habitat of the yeti. This 650 sq km park in
eastern Bhutan is comprised of temperate forest of blue pine and
rhododendron. It adjoins a planned reserve in India.
Khaling Wildlife Sanctuary
Khaling Wildlife Sanctuary in south eastern
Bhutan covers 273 sq km and is home to wild elephants, gaurs,
pygmy hogs, and hispid hares. The reserve adjoins another in
Torsa Strict Nature Reserve
The only reserve with no human inhabitants Torsa Reserve is in
western Haa district, where the Torsa river enters from Tibet.
It protects temperate forests and alpine meadows.