Top wildlife sanctuaries of Bhutan

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Wildlife sanctuary provides protection for wildlife species from hunting, predation, competition or poaching. It’s preserve animals that are endangered or being risk of extinct in the future.

Bhutan has established a system of approximately 26 percent of country’s total land area in national parks, nature reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and conservation areas.

Let’s explore 8 wildlife sanctuaries in Bhutan…

  • Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary

It’s located in the Trashigang District, and hence, known for housing the easternmost ecosystems and landscapes of Bhutan.

Red panda at Sakteng wildlife Sanctuary

It is one of the most popular options for both explorers and locals for many reasons. One of these is the eastern blue pine, a typical coniferous evergreen which is a rare find and grows only in mountain valleys such as the Himalayas.

Blue poppy is the national flower of Bhutan and it looks stunning during the spring season. Talking about the fauna, the Black-rumped magpie, known as one of the smartest birds also thrives in this ecosystem. According to rumors, there are many unique creatures such as yeti, the abominable snowman.

  • Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary

Of all the wildlife sanctuaries of Bhutan, Bumdeling is a popular one and is situated in North-Western Bhutan and covering a huge expanse spanning more than 1500 sq km and 420 sq km of a buffer area.

elephant at Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary

This quiet sanctuary shares borders with Tibet in China as well as the north-eastern regions of India. If outsider visit this place, there is many security checks to enter the sanctuary.

Because of the many endangered species that it houses such as the red panda which is seen as a very calm and sluggish creature that spends 14 to 18 hours on trees and eat twigs at all times of the day.

  • Jomotsangkha Wildlife Sanctuary

The most popular national park in the South-eastern region of Bhutan, this place was earlier known as Khaling Neoli and shared boundaries with Assam.

Jomotsangkha Wildlife Sanctuary

It’s the smallest protected reserve in the country in terms of area and is spread over an area of 335 square kilometres.

One of the most popular highlights is the rare Pygmy Hog, which in fact, lures thousands of explorers around the world visit this park.

  • Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary

What was originally established to preserve the natural sal forests of the country. Located in the southern part of Bhutan with a shared border with Assam in India.

Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary

Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan is home to numerous animals such as Golden Langurs, Gaur, Asian Elephants etc. The most special aspect about this park is spotting the Chital Deer (Spotted Deers).

Apart from animals, one will also come across many birds such as the hornbill.

  • Royal Manas National Park

Also referred to as Bhutan’s Crown Jewel and the oldest protected area in the country, this park was upgraded to the status of a national park in 1993.

This national park spreads over such a huge area that it reaches India’s Manas Tiger Reserve which is a very important place to spot biodiversity in the nation.

This is the best wildlife sanctuary in Bhutan to spot the endangered Royal Bengal tiger, one of the most popular subspecies of tigers.

There is other animals such as the Asian elephant, one-horned rhinoceros, Himalayan black bear, clouded leopard, pangolin, and the Ganges dolphins.

  • The Jigme Dorji National Park

known for being the largest national park in Bhutan and for being named after the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.

The park is so huge that it covers 5 Bhutanese districts of Thimpu, Paro, Wangdue Phodrang, Punakha, and Gasa.

In fact, to imagine the expanse of the park; one can look at the difference in the altitude from the highest point to the lowers which is more than 5000 meters.

The differences in climate and altitude account for a striking variance in the species found here.

For instance, the snow leopard can be found in the glacier peaks like Mount Jomolhari along with other animals such as tigers, Red Panda, and Himalayan Blue Sheep.

  • Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park

Also known as Bhutan National Park, the second largest national park in terms of area after Jigme Dorji National Park.

However, it’s relatively more isolated with fewer households in the area. The wildlife found in both these parks in Nepal is more or less similar though such as the golden langur, the red panda and the Royal Bengal tiger.

  • Phrumsengla National Park

Phrumsengla National Park in Bhutan established in 1998, is one of the beautiful Bhutan wildlife sanctuaries. It is a great sanctuary to spot wildlife and indulge in adventure activities.

The park offers great routes for trekking during the months of October and November when the weather is pleasant and dry. The pretty rhododendron can be enjoyed during the months of April to June.

Due to the rugged landscape and fauna and flora, the park is a great place for nature excursions, wildlife spotting, trekking, and hiking.