For centuries, Bhutanese have lived in perfect harmony with its surrounding, allowing for an environment where men and animal thrived together in peaceful coexistence. The more than 70 percent forest cover provides an ideal habitat for the animals.
Many rare and endangered species populate the country and the government has prioritized its conservation efforts in the face of rapid modernization.
Some rare species found in Bhutan include the Golden Langur, the Royal Bengal Tiger, the elusive Snow leopard, Takin and Rhinoceros in the south.
Bhutan’s national animal is the Takin. The animal, which dons a goat’s head and a cow’s body, was considered a mythical creature in the west until the 1990s. According to legend, the animal was a creation of a Buddhist saint, Drukpa Kuenley, who fixed a goat’s head in a cow’s carcass to prove his miraculous power.
There are more than 150 mammals recorded in the country and according to foresters, the number keeps increasing every year.
Beside, animals, Bhutan houses more than 600 bird species. Bird watching in Bhutan has been gaining popularity among tourists and locals in recent times. Some rare birds in Bhutan are the White Bellied Heron, Rufus Necked Hornbill and Black Necked Crane, etc.
Threatened by the country’s hydropower construction, the White Bellied heron has received serious government attention in recent times. Of the 200 white-bellied herons in the world, Bhutan houses around 30 of them.
The endangered black-necked cranes migrate towards Bhutan from Tibet crossing the Himalayas in winter to breed. The people share great reverence to the bird, which measure more than one meter in height, and the bird is celebrated in the form of festivals among locals.
Black necked cranes can be mostly seen in the northern valleys of Trashi Yangtse and Phobjikha.
The national butterfly of Bhutan has been recently declared as Ludlow’s Swallowtail, which is endemic to the eastern Himalayas.
Bhutan’s fauna has attracted special attention from international organizations especially in conservation of keystone species such as tiger, snow leopard and elephant.