Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park, Wangdue Phodrang Overview
A perfect example of serenity in nature, Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park is one of the country's largest national park areawise. Located in Trongsa and occupying parts of other districts such as Wangdue Phodrang also, it is a popular birdwatching spot in Bhutan.
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Biodiversity of Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park
The Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park is the largest protected area in Bhutan. It is a haven for those birds who migrate here every year from different parts of the world. Not just birds, it is a treasure trove of animals and plants as well.
It is home to exquisite Himalayan animals like the Red Panda, Snow Leopard, Black Bear, Blue Sheep, and Takin. The biodiversity found here is almost overwhelming and attract hundreds of eyeballs every year.
The rich biodiversity is reflected not just in its wildlife, but its geography too, consisting of both warm forests as well as permanent glaciers. It also has the plant species of blue poppy, edelweiss, rhododendrons and orchids.
Founded in 1995, it was set up to conserve the ecological and natural resources of the country; its animals and plants being the major ones. In total, there are 39 recorded mammals, 270 birds species, 139 species of butterflies and 16 species of fish.
Formerly known as Black Mountain National Park, it is majorly known for its birds' population. There are at least eight globally threatened bird species, including White-Bellied Heron and Rufous-necked hornbill.
The pristine environment of the national park helps the animals and plants to thrive in their natural surroundings. Hara-Chhu River, which passes through the national park, gives it a dreamy look and fishing along the lake is the best way to bond with nature.
Flora and Fauna of Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park
A haven for animals, birds and plants, Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park houses distinct varieties of species within its boundaries, including some rare endangered species. Being a popular birding site, 270 species of birds have been recorded in here.
Eight of them come under the category of Globally Endangered Species, and many others come under Critically Endangered Species. Migratory Birds, like black-necked cranes, also come here in the winter season. Rufous-necked Hornbill, White-bellied Herons, Woodsnipe etc. are some of the species which are abundant around the national park.
Initially, 57 mammals were listed to be present in the park, but after recent discoveries and based on solid proofs, 39 mammal species have been confirmed.
Tiger, Clouded Leopard, Golden Cat, Grey Langur, Bengal Tiger, Himalayan Black Bear, Red Panda, Musk Deer etc. can be spotted in the national park. Their presence depends upon the altitude and forests of the region.
Currently, there are nine different types of forests which house these animals. Sub-tropical broadleaf forests, Warm broadleaf forests, Chir pine forests, mixed conifer forests, Cool broadleaf forests, Blue pine forests, Fir forests, Juniper forests and Alpine meadows and scrub are the different forest types which can be seen in here. There is a significant population of butterflies and reptiles as well.
Trekking at Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park
Two winter trekking trails have been exclusively designed at Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park for visitors to experience most of nature:
1. Nabji-Korphu trail (6 days and 5 nights trek) 2. Adha-Rukha trail (5 days and 4 nights trek)
The trails are relatively easy and camping under a sky full of stars, while listening to the villagers' experiences, is also a part of the trekking expedition. They are low elevation treks and shows you the rich flora and fauna along with the unique culture of Bhutan.
Rivers Within Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park
Not just animals and plants, but the national park also has many significant rivers of Bhutan flowing within its boundaries. Mangde Chhu River flows across the eastern boundary of the park, from Trongsa to Tingtibi. The mid-western portion of the park has Punatsangchu River.
Located in Central Bhutan, there are six major unique ecosystems in Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park, which vary from altitude to altitude. 1. Himalayan Subtropical Broadleaf Forests Ecoregion 2. Himalayan subtropical pine forests ecoregion 3. Warm Broadleaf Forests Ecoregion 4. Cool Temperate Broadleaf Forests Ecoregion 5. Eastern Himalayan Subalpine Conifer Forests Ecoregion 6. Eastern Himalayan Alpine Shrub and Meadows Ecoregion
Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park Area
Spread across an area of 1730 square kilometres, Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park spans most of the Trongsa District and parts of Zhemgang, Tsirang, Sarpang and Wangdue Phodrang. Ranging from an altitude of 600 metres to 4925 metres, there are six broad ecoregions, which vary depending upon the altitude and climatic conditions.
Community Tourism at Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park
To give visitors a chance to peek in the lives of villagers, the concept of community tourism has been introduced which takes you to the depth of villages lying in the Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park, giving you the golden opportunity to experience Bhutanese culture like never before. The human population is around 5000, and their main source of livelihood is agriculture and animal husbandry.
Best Time to Visit Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park
Spring season is the best time to visit Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park, as the flowers and greenery are in full bloom, and a lot of animals can be spotted during this time. All seasons, except for monsoon, are fairly good to visit the national park. In winters, many migratory birds visit here and are a good sight to watch. But due to extreme weather, it isn't really a good time to visit.
How To Reach Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park
The Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park covers areas of both the Trongsa and Wangdue Phodrang District. It can be reached easily from Trongsa. It is also connected to the Royal Manas National Park through a biological corridor.