Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary is geopolitically located (27°09’00” 27°28’08” North and 91°47’04” & 92°07’02” East) in the easternmost part of the country under Trashigang District and was established in 2003. Sanctuary shares border with the Indian State of Arunachal Pradesh in the East and North and is well connected by Jomotshangkha Wildlife Sanctuary in the South promoting healthy faunal population via proper habitat connectivity.

SWS spreads over a part of Merak, Sakteng ( Trashigang) and Lauri Gewog (Samdrupjongkhar) forming 740.60 skm.km with 146.08 sq. km area (19.37%) designated as a core zone. However, the Sanctuary officially manages 937.62 sq. km catering services to entire area of Merak and Sakten Gewog.

Amongst the three Range Office, Merak Range is the largest Range with an area of 482.56 sq. km followed by Sakteng Range (333.61 sq. Km) and Joenkhar Range (121.21 sq. km).

Sanctuary outlets three major rivers viz. Gamri chuu benefiting valley of Sakteng, Joenkhar, Phongmey, Radhi, Bidung, Samkhar, and Trashigang; Nyera ama chuu benefiting Merak, Kangpara, Gomdar, Thrimshing; and Jomo chuu benefiting Khasitang, Lauri, Serthi, and Daifam. There is no permanent glacier and rivers are mainly fed by 104 lakes in alpine area with seasonal rain and snowfall. Area receives highest rainfall in June-August with sporadic snowfall from October-April.

It harbors eight different forest types ascending from warm broadleaved (1500 m) to alpine meadow (4500 m) and majority of the area falls in temperate zone. There are 857 plants including 130 species of orchids and 41 species of Rhododendrons, 280 birds, 37 species of mammals, 63 butterflies, 5 reptiles, 3 amphibians, and 2 species of fishes (BS 2015). It harbors highest diversity of Rhododendron species in the country with three endemic, R. kesangiae, R. bhutanese, and R. pogonophyllum propounding it as “Paradise of Rhododendrons”. Further, the Khaling Torrent Catfish (Parachiloglanis bhutanese) endemic to Bhutan is also found in the Sanctuary.

Despite rich biodiversity, currently it is under tremendous pressure from anthropogenic activities resulted from approximately 5000 semi-nomad inhabitants (Brokpa) of Merak and Sakteng residing across the jurisdiction. Almost 83 % of the inhabitants are dependent on livestock for their daily income and sustenance.


Conserve the assemblage of Eastern Himalayan Ecosystem and Unique Cultural Heritage to maintain Ecological Integrity and Social Wellbeing.


Maintain the representative biodiversity of Eastern Himalayan Ecosystem through scientific management and promotion of culture while enhancing the local livelihood through nature based enterprises and community ecotourism initiatives.


Ensure ecological integrity and enhance local economy with minimum impact on age old culture and tradition of local people.


1. Species Conservation Section (SCS)

This section aims for flora and fauna conservation in the sanctuary through implementation of the following activities:

  • Coordination and conducting of research on focal flora and fauna
  • Protected Area zone management
  • Address Human-wildlife conflict
  • Coordination and management of forest fire related issues in the area
  • Sustainable Land Management activities
  • Management plan review (Proposal writing and fund securing)

2. Eco-tourism and Nature Recreation Section (ENRS)

This section balances between socioeconomic development and conservation activities in the sanctuary, thus plays Check and Balance Mechanism. The major activities carried by this section are as follows:

  • Monitors and Implements the ecotourism activities and facilities (campsites, home stays and Green houses) in the park
  • Implementation and monitoring of ICDP activities.
  • Monitors and conduct the plantation activities in the park
  • Implementation of waste management activities

3. Park Resources Management Section (PRMS)

This section looks in the resources allocation within and periphery of the area. Major activities implemented by this section are as follows:

  • Deals in timber issuance for both commercial and rural
  • Compilation and submission of Forestry Information Database to FIMS
  • Compilation and submission of monthly reports to the department
  • Assist field offices in planning and managing of NWFPs
  • Dealing officer for G2C services.

4. Biodiversity Survey and Monitoring Section (BSMS)

BSMS section solely meant for coordinating biodiversity Survey and monitoring timely through implementation of following activities:

  • Coordinate and conduct biodiversity survey
  • Monitoring of Protected area activities
  • Enforcement of FNC Acts and Rules
  • Management of GRF land allotment
  • Issuance of Forestry clearance
  • Anti-poaching patrolling
  • Offence cases

5. Social and Extension Section (SES)

The major activities carried out by the section are as listed.

  • Formation of CFMG and NWFP groups in the protected area
  • Monitoring and evaluation of the group success
  • Securing financial supports for the groups and technical backstopping for the community

6. Data Management Section (DMS)

This sections deals in developing strong and viable database for keeping information within the sanctuary reliable and timely. In developing information system, following activities are carried.

  • Collection of information from sections, communities, relevant stakeholders, and field offices
  • Compilation of field base information and data
  • Computation of the data into system-based database
  • Issuance of information to relevant stakeholders as and when required.


1. Merak Range

Merak Range Office is located at altitude of 3500 m under Merak Gewog and is the largest Ranges under Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary with an area of 482.5 sq.km. Administratively, it covers whole Merak geog and certain part of Lauri geog. There are 13 land use types within altitude range of 1500-4500 m. Large portion of area is covered by mixed conifer forest (248.61 Sq.km) followed by broadleaved (122.182 Sq.km) and shrub (59.61 Sq.km) respectively. Because of the semi-nomadic practice of the community, 7.12 % of the area is under intense pressure from livestock grazing.

2. Sakteng Range

Sakteng Range is the second largest Range under SWS. It has an area of 333.86 sq.km and its office is located at altitude of 2996 m under Sakteng Gewog. Under the Range, one guard post is located at Thrakthri village under Sakteng. Altitude ranges from 1800-4500 m. There are 10 land use types dominated by mixed conifer (209.52 Sq.km) followed by shrub (82.48 Sq.km) and pasture (22.23 Sq.km)

3. Joenkhar Range

Joenkhar Range is the located in lower foothill of Sakteng Geog at an altitude of 1600 m. It is the smallest Ranges under SWS with area of 121.2 sq.km. Altitude ranges from 1500-4300 m. Broadly, the range has 10 land use types dominated by Mixed conifer (79.02 Sq. Km) followed by broad leaved forest (29.57 Sq.km) and shrub (6.49 Sq.km)

3. Joenkhar Range


  • Head office, Phongmey
  • Phone no: +975-17121158
  • FAX no: 16481317
  • E-mail id: saktengsws@gmail.com