First-Ever Pictorial Guide To The Fauna Of Jigme Dorji National Park Published
The guide is expected to help strengthen the conservation of diverse faunal species in the park through documentation and research.
By Choki Wangmo | Kuensel
The first-ever pictorial guide to the faunal diversity of Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP) is expected to help strengthen the conservation of diverse faunal species in the park through documentation and research.
Till date, the guide has documented 33 species of mammals, 12 amphibians, 21 reptiles, 90 birds, 14 dragonflies and damselflies, 41 butterflies, and three wild bees. These species were recorded in the park for the first time as well.
Purpose of the pictorial guide
“The document will give baseline information on JDNP’s mega-fauna diversity and a field guide to individuals with an interest to learn about wildlife,” said one of the authors, Yonten Jamtsho.
Photo: Ministry of Agriculture and Forests/Bhutan
The guide is also expected to provide information and references for the trained and untrained conservationists in the country, in order to encourage conservation activities at the grassroots level.
Information on the taxonomical classification of species, a short description of their habitats, distribution, and the altitude range where each species roam are included with their pictures.
“Readers can not only effortlessly identify the species, but also gain knowledge about the bio-physical requirements of the defined species.”
Endangered species found at the Jigme Dorji National Park
As the second largest park in Bhutan with a total area of 4,316 sq. km, the Jigme Dorji National Park is the only park in the country with a number of endangered and threatened species such as the royal Bengal tiger and snow leopard, musk deer, red panda, clouded leopard, Asiatic wild dog, and the Himalayan black beer.
“The snow leopard survey found that JDNP has 31 snow leopards, the highest amongst all protected areas and territory divisions. The park also recorded the highest numbers of Bhutan takins in the country,” Yonten Jamtsho said.
The presence of diverse species is due to the large altitudinal variations and vegetation types-warm broadleaved, mixed conifer and alpine meadows found in this park.
What makes the Jigme Dorji National Park special?
JDNP is a watershed covering half of northern Bhutan. Moreover, it is an important natural conservatory of glaciers, rivers and streams, alpine meadows, and scrublands.
Source: Youtube/Ministry of Agriculture and Forests - Bhutan
According to Yonten Jamtsho, the park’s integrated conservation development programs - community participation in wildlife conservation and livelihood enhancement activities such as tourism products and services have made the conservation efforts easier.
The JDNP supports 25 percent of Bhutan’s total mammals, 45 percent of the total bird species, 22 percent of the total snakes and 26 percent of the total amphibians in the country.
In addition, three species of lizards, 14 species of dragonflies and damselflies, 87 species of butterflies, and three species of wild honey bees are also found in the park. Most of the animal groups from the lower taxa are yet to be scientifically documented.
This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.