Biological Specimen Collections of Bhutan Projects

Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary

Managers: NBC Staff and Michael B. Thomas
In 1974 RGOB created the Jigme Dorji Wildlife Sanctuary to protect the alpine and subalpine ecosystem of the eastern Himalayas in Bhutan. This park covered the whole northern part of Bhutan including the present northern half of the present Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary. Subsequent reviews of protected area system (Mahat, 1986; MacKinnon, 1986; Blower, 1998) indicated a need for the protection of the full range of natural ecosystem found between the Indian plains and the high Himalayas, specifically in the temperate zone. In 1993, an application for notification of the revised protected areas system for Bhutan was produced. It included the Kulong chhu Wildlife Sanctuary and the Bumdeling conservation area. The final application for notification (gazettement) modified the boundaries of the Kulong chhu Wildlife Sanctuary to include most of the Bumdeling conservation area and the 1182 km2 was gazetted on 7 December 1994.

In the same year the name was changed to Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary. The Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Northeastern part of Bhutan covering an area of 1520.61 km with 420 km sq. of buffer zones ecosystem parts of Trashiyangtse, Lhuntse and Mongar Dzongkhag. It shares international border with China (Tibetan province) in the north and India and Arunachal Paradesh in the North East. It was established in 1995 in order to protect large areas of virtually untouched Eastern Himalayan ecosystem ranging from warm broadleaved forest to Alpine meadows and scree slopes. The sanctuary area ranges from an altitude of 1500 m in the Sheri chhu to over 6400m in the north. The area is mountainous and is dissected by steep sided valleys. The three main rivers in the park are the Kulong chhu in the East, the Khoma chhu in the West and Sheri chhu in the South. In 1995-1996, Nature Conservation Section of the Department of Forest carried out socio-economic and Participatory Rural Appraisal survey in and around the sanctuary.

Ferns of Bhutan

Managers: Rinchen Dorji and Michael B. Thomas

Fungi of Bhutan

Managers: Dawa Penjor, Sabitra Pradhan, and Michael B. Thomas
This collection hopes to provide information on the diversity of mushrooms that are identified and classified in Bhutan to the general public, students, health workers, and researchers. It is also expected that collectors are educated on edible and poisonous mushrooms and also hope that the knowledge presented with help to ensure the long-term sustainability of mushroom diversity in Bhutan.

Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park

Managers: Rinchen Dorji and Rinchen Gyeltshen
Centrally located and encompassing a wide altitudinal variation & vegetation, JigmeSingyeWangchuck National Park is the third largest Protected Area in the Country. The park borders Royal Manas National Park in the south and it is connected to JigmeDorji National Park and Wangchuck Centennial National Park to the north and Phrumsengla National Park to the north east by biological corridors, thus forming a contagious belt between tropical south and alpine north. Administratively, JSWNP covers 5 districts partially.

The 1730 national park was gazetted in 1995 with objective of securing ecological connectivity and managing & conserving the natural & cultural heritages of Central Bhutan. JSWNP best represents the middle Himalayan ecosystem & contains several ecological biomes ranging from sub-tropical to alpine meadow. The biologically diverse park has recorded the presence of 39 mammals, 270 birds, 139 species of butterflies, 16 fishes, and we are yet to establish the baseline for herpeto fauna, fungal diversity and diversity of orchids and herbal plants. Amongst the mammals, the species includes some of the Asia’s most charismatic species including the Royal Bengal tiger, golden langur, musk deer, clouded leopard, golden cat, marbled cat, red panda, gaur etc. Birds of conservation significance include Rufous-necked Hornbill, Satyr tragopan and Himalayan Monal. JSWNP also harbours 50% of the population of ‘Critically Endangered’ White-bellied Heron. Over 5000 people reside in the national parks 588 households spread over 6 geogs partially in five districts adapting to various climatic conditions and vegetation covers.

The mission of the park is to “Conserve and manage its Natural Biodiversity in harmony with People’s Values and Aspirations.”

Medicinal Plants of Bhutan

Managers: Michael B. Thomas