Bhutan is also considered as a bird-watchers’ paradise. Because of the great number and diversity of endemic species, the eastern Himalayas of which Bhutan is a part, has been designated as one of the world’s top 10 biodiversity “hotspots”.
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Bhutan is also considered as a bird-watchers’ paradise. Because of the great number and diversity of endemic species, the eastern Himalayas of which Bhutan is a part, has been designated as one of the world’s top 10 biodiversity “hotspots”. Wet summers and altitudinal gradation from subtropical lowlands to arctic-like mountain peaks provide an array of climatic conditions and a layering of distinct biotic communities from jungles through temperate forests to tundra. Each community has a unique assemblage of wildlife — with golden langurs and elephants in the lowlands, tigers and red pandas in the midlands, and snow leopards and Takins on alpine meadows.
The diversity of bird life of Bhutan is accentuated by the migrations of hundreds of species between breeding grounds across a vast expanse of Asia to the north of Bhutan and wintering grounds of the subcontinent of India. The best known of these migrants is the black-necked cranes that breed in Tibet and then migrate over the Himalayas to spend the winter in several isolated valleys of Bhutan. Thanks in part to its moist climate and wide altitudinal range; Bhutan supports over 700 bird species, including some of the most exotic and endemic species in the eastern Himalayas.
Over 70% of the country is forested, and unlike other Himalayan countries most of Bhutan’s original forest remains intact, and in its untouched condition. The Buddhist philosophy of respect for all living things has resulted in a healthy environment where wildlife flourishes. Ten species of birds that are in danger of extinction reside in Bhutan, including the rare black-necked crane, which traditionally winters in the valleys of Phobjikha and Bomdeling and the Imperial Heron, which is one of the fifty rarest birds in the world.
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