Wildlife is the mainspring of tourism.
Nature is, and has always been, valued for its aesthetic values. In an increasingly commercialised world which can often feel cold and empty, it is important that we have something inspiring and thought-provoking to turn to when we need a break. Wild animals can fill this void, whether we simply visit a park and watch the pigeons for a while, go to the zoo, or are lucky enough to experience animals in their wild habitat.
Human fascination with the beauty of wild animals drives tourism worldwide. This has the effect of boosting the economy and creating jobs where there otherwise may be none. Managed in the right way, tourism raises awareness of the need to conserve delicate ecosystems containing endangered animals. It gives people a driving force to want to help in conservation efforts, which will unquestionably lead to a better future for planet earth.
Fauna in Sikkim-
The dense forests of Sikkim are home to a variety of animals. The Musk Deer, the munjak or the Barking Deer roam the jungles in the upper temperate zone while the Himalayan Black Bear is found in forests of the lower valleys to around 12,000 feet.
Also found here is the Red Panda, belonging to the raccoon family, the Red Goral, a horned animal closely related to the Serow, the Blue Sheep or bharal, the Shapi, belonging to the Himalayan Tahr family and the elusive Snow Leopard, an almost mythical animal, found in the arid cold alpine region. Another animal found mostly in the alpine zone is the Yak. These animals are domesticated and reared in North Sikkim and provide useful service. They are used mainly as beasts of burden over mountain terrain and can survive even sub-zero temperatures.
Sikkim is rich in avifauna too and is considered to be a birdwatchers paradise. Its avian population extends to almost 550 species. The avifauna of Sikkim is comprised of the Impeyan pheasant, the crimson horned pheasant, the snow partridge, the snow cock, the lammergeyer and griffon vultures, as well as golden eagles, quail, plovers, woodcock, sandpipers, pigeons, Old World flycatchers, babblers and robins.
Sikkim also has a rich diversity of arthropods, much of which remains unexplored even today. The best-studied group remains the butterflies, with 50 percent of the 1,400 butterfly species recorded in the Indian sub-continent found in the state. These include the endangered Kaiser-i-hind, Yellow Gorgon, and the Bhutan Glory amongst others.
Fauna in Bhutan-
Nowhere in the Himalayas is the natural environment more rich and diverse than it is in Bhutan. One of Bhutan’s ancient names was Menjong Yul, meaning ‘the land of Medicinal Herbs’ and so rightfully. Even today, the natural environment is mostly in undisturbed and pristine form. The ecosystem in Bhutan is diverse, because of its location, great geographical and climatic variations. Bhutan’s high, rugged mountains and deep valleys are rich with spectacular biodiversity, making one of the world’s ten most important biodiversity ‘hotspots’. For centuries, Bhutanese have treasured the natural environment and have looked upon it as the source of all life. This traditional reverence for nature has delivered Bhutan into the 21st century with an environment still richly intact. The country wishes to continue living in harmony with nature and to pass on this rich heritage to its future generations.
Knowing the importance of the natural environment, Royal Government of Bhutan takes its conservations at the heart of its development strategy. Royal Government of Bhutan has also committed in maintaining more than 70 percent forest cover for all time to come. Currently, the total land under forest cover is 72.5 percent and more than 26 percent of the land is under the protected areas, comprising of four national parks and about 9 percent of the landfall under biological corridors so that the wildlife sanctuaries and nature reserves connect protected areas.
Fortunately for Bhutan, maintaining a balanced natural ecosystem remains the central theme of its development process. The country’s development policies disregard sacrificing its natural resource base for short-term economic gains and are consistent with the central tenets of sustainable development, environmental conservation, and cultural values.
Kingdom established its national park system to protect important ecosystems, and they have not been developed as a tourist attraction. In any cases, people even won’t be aware that they are entering or leaving a national park or wildlife sanctuary.
Jigme Dorji National Park
It is the largest protected area in the country, encompassing an area of 4,349 sq. km, covering the western parts of Paro, Thimphu and Punakha and almost entire area of Gasa district. The park is habitat of several endangered species including takin, blue sheep, snow leopard, musk deer, Himalayan black bear and red panda. The trek from Paro to Choolhari, Lingshi, Laya and Gasa goes through this park.
FUNA IN ASSAM
The diverse fauna of Manas National Park includes Langurs, Assamese Macaques, Slow Loris, Hoolock Gibbons, Smooth Indian Otters, Sloth Bears, Barking Deer, Hog Deer, Sambar and Chital. The endangered species in this National Park are the Assam Roofed Turtle, Hispid Hare, Golden Langur and Pygmy Hog.
Flora and fauna of Jaldapara: Jaldapara is a home to almost 240 species of birds, 20 species of mammals and various species of reptiles and fishes. Jaldapara in Dooars is especially known for preservation of one horn rhinos. It has the highest population of rhinos after Kaziranga in Assam.