Animals and Plants
Bhutan and its forests
The forest is protected in Bhutan. 60 percent of the country should always remain forest. There is also a national tree, that is the cypress. The Bhutanese appreciate this tree because, according to their beliefs, it is so similar: it just grows, but can also survive under poor conditions, just like the inhabitants of the country.
Many areas of Bhutan are nature reserves, which after all make up half of the entire national territory. Bhutan is the country with the largest proportion of nature conservation areas.
Medicinal herbs, rhododendron and blue poppy
Fragrant medicinal plants grow in the foothills of the Himalayas. This is how Bhutan got the nickname “Valley full of medicinal herbs”. These herbs also like to bloom multicolored and can grow and spread up to the tree line of 5500 meters.
There are also 46 different species of rhododendrons and many different orchids. The blue poppy is the national flower of Bhutan. It takes many years for this poppy to grow. Also, it only blooms once in its life and then passes.
There are even carnivorous plants in Bhutan. And in the alpine locations you can discover edelweiss and gentian if you look closely.
Which animals live in Bhutan?
Since most of Bhutan’s residents are Buddhists, they have great respect for wildlife. Some animals are even worshiped. That is why few people go fishing or hunting. This is a very special protection for the animals and the country’s ecosystem has been kept in balance to this day.
The diversity of, for example, 580 bird species is protected in the national parks. Bhutan has a national bird, that is the raven. Ravens are supposed to bring bad luck to us. Quite different in Bhutan, here he is worshiped like a god.
The national animal of Bhutan is the takins, also called Gnuziege. This animal can survive up to heights of 4000 meters and feeds on grasses and herbs that also grow in the mountains. But despite the protection of the animals, they are very rarely found in the wild, most of them live in zoos.
Despite its name, the blue sheep is also a goat. Its fur is gray, but often has a bluish tinge. It grazes high up in the Himalayas, between 3000 and 5000 meters.
As in other Himalayan countries, the yak is a very important animal. This supplies milk, cheese and meat, but also wool, which is processed further, as well as leather. Its manure is used as fuel. It has a fairly thick fur and can survive well in cooler temperatures.
Since Bhutan was almost closed off from the outside world for many years, many big cats still live here that could not survive in other countries and only to a limited extent. The king tiger can still be found here, but mostly only in the national parks. About 100 tigers still live in Bhutan.
The shy snow leopard also finds a home in Bhutan. It needs a large hunting area and doesn’t like it at all when it meets fellow species.
Monkeys such as rhesus monkeys or the Assam macaques also like to cavort in the forests of Bhutan. Visitors to the country also encounter langurs.
Agriculture in Bhutan
The development of Bhutan is mainly based on agriculture. 58 out of 100 people make their living here. Rice, corn and root vegetables are grown. But agriculture is only possible on eight percent of the entire national territory, and that especially in the country’s valleys.
72 percent of the country is covered by forest, which is a lot. The constitution of Bhutan demands that the forest must remain and cover at least 60 percent of the total land area. In addition, the economy is heavily dependent on India. The standard of living for many people is low, especially in the east of the country.
As a country located in Asia according to ebizdir, Bhutan has a lot of fresh water due to the rich rainfall and the glacial landscape of the Himalayas. The numerous rivers that run through the country ensure that hydropower is of great importance to the country. In Bhutan, for example, a lot of electricity is generated by hydropower.
India in particular is very interested in this electricity and is investing in the large hydroelectric power plants. Hydropower is exported to India.
Tourism is also important for Bhutan, to which Bhutan only opened up in the 70s of the last century and then only in a very special form. Tourism is strictly controlled in order to protect the environment as well as the ancient customs and traditions of the country. Mass tourism is not wanted. Nevertheless, tourism is an important industry in Bhutan.
Tourism only on a small scale
In Bhutan, happiness is more important than wealth and this claim is even anchored in the constitution. Nevertheless, the country is one of the poorest countries in the world. So Bhutan closes itself off to mass tourism. Whoever enters the country has to pay a kind of “entrance fee”. That is around 250 euros, which can then be offset against hotel accommodation and food.
Only one airline flies tourists into the country and that is a Bhutanese one. The travel agencies in Bhutan determine where the tourists are allowed to travel and organize the tours. Other travel agencies from abroad are not permitted. The bus drivers are locals, so are the taxi drivers and the tour guides anyway.