Pro­tect­ing Wildlife

Southasia - - CONTENTS -

Bhutan is known for the way it as­sesses the qual­ity of life of its cit­i­zens through the Gross Na­tional Hap­pi­ness (GNH) in­dex in­stead of the uni­ver­sally used Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct ( GDP) in­dex. The term was in­vented in 1972 by the then King Jigme Singye Wangchuk.

Bhutan is also known for its di­verse flora and fauna. Many rare species and en­dan­gered an­i­mals are found in the forests of Bhutan. But will the coun­try re­main as nat­u­ral and beau­ti­ful as it is now? The ques­tion is of­ten posed and as­sumes im­por­tance keep­ing in view the il­le­gal poach­ing of wild life and cut­ting down of trees that is dam­ag­ing the forests in Bhutan.

Bhutan has more than 770 species of birds and 5,400 species of plants. Ben­gal tigers, In­dian rhi­noc­eros, clouded leop­ards, and bears are some an­i­mals found in the forests to­wards the south of the coun­try. Tigers and In­dian leop­ards are mostly found in mixed conifer and pine forests.

Fruit-bear­ing trees pro­vide a nat­u­ral habi­tat for the Hi­malayan black bear, red panda, sam­bar, wild pig, and bark­ing deer. Bhutan is also home to an­te­lope, blue sheep, Hi­malayan musk deer, mar­mots, snow leop­ards, Ti­betan wolves, and takins – which is also Bhutan’s na­tional an­i­mal.

How­ever, poach­ing in the forests is ram­pant be­cause of the pricey medicines that are made from or­gans of musk deer, tigers and leop­ards. Th­ese medicines are do­ing more harm than good as rare an­i­mals are ruth­lessly killed to ob­tain in­gre­di­ents required for their prepa­ra­tion. The num­ber of poach­ers is fast in­creas­ing in Bhutan. They keep an eye on en­dan­gered an­i­mals and kill them when­ever they get an op­por­tu­nity.

The gov­ern­ment of Bhutan is tak­ing ev­ery pos­si­ble step to curb the prac­tice of il­le­gal poach­ing. The king­dom has de­cided – by en­act­ing sev­eral laws – to keep at least 60 per­cent of its land area un­der foresta­tion; to ded­i­cate more than 26 per­cent of its ter­ri­tory as na­tional parks, re­serves and other pro­tected ar­eas; and to iden­tify a fur­ther 9 per­cent as wildlife cor­ri­dors link­ing the pro­tected spa­ces. Poach­ing and il­le­gal trade of an­i­mal parts has been specif­i­cally tar­geted.

Ac­cord­ing to the Bhutanese

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.