Bhutanese conservation ethic is largely shaped by the Buddhist teachings of compassion and contentment. The mountains, rivers, streams, rocks, trees and soils are believed to be the abode of spirits. The Buddhist respect for all living things has led to the development and adoption of ecologically friendly strategies. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan also mandates a forest cover of at least sixty per cent of the land at all times.
Today over 72 per cent of the land area is covered with forests comprised of the 26 per cent of land designated as protected areas and 9 per cent of the land biological corridors, linking the protected areas. Despite being a small country, Bhutan is home to 5,603 species of vascular plants, 678 species of birds and nearly 200 species of mammals making it one of the ten hot spots for global biodiversity conservation in the world. There are more than 80 species of agricultural crops and 15 species of livestock, adapted in the rugged mountain and harsh climatic conditions and, hence, bear distinctive features.
Bhutan’s dense forest provides heaven to a wealth of exotic wildlife and is a last refuge for endangered species like Black-necked Crane, the Blue Sheep, the Golden Langur and even the Royal Bengal Tiger. Further, a part of the country’s conservation effort so far is the designation of nine national parks and four wildlife sanctuaries.