Introduction – Jigme Khesar Strict Nature Reserve

In 1993 Royal Government of Bhutan notified nine protected areas, with four National Parks, four Wildlife Sanctuaries and one Strict Nature Reserve. The legislation governing the establishment and management of protected areas in Bhutan is the Forest and Nature Conservation Act of Bhutan, 1995(FNCA). Chapter VI of the Act has provisions for the establishment of protected areas in the country. Jigme Khesar Strict Nature Reserve which has total area of 609.51 Km2 is the only Strict Nature Reserve among the protected area in the country and is the gem within the protected area system of the country. It lies mostly in Haa Dzongkhag (five out of its six geogs), with a very small spreading south into SamtseDzongkhag (two out of its fifteen geogs).

This is the only protected area in Bhutan without permanent human settlements, except for few migratory Yak herding communities. With most pristine temperate and alpine ecosystems in the country, arguably the entire Himalayas, it is home to endangered species such as the Snow Leopard, Red Panda, Tibetan Snowcock and Rufous Necked Hornbills. As well, Reserve harbours the only endemic poppy, the White Poppy (Meconopsissuperba) and has some of the most spectacular landscapes in the country. It is the only protected area in Bhutan that is part of the trans-boundary conservation landscape, i.e. the Kangchenjunga Landscape.

However, the Reserve was operationalized only in 2010 with kind approval from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forest. The management plan for the Reserve was prepared based on four rapid assessment of biodiversity (plants, mammals and birds) and socio-economic status of the resident communities bordering the administrative jurisdiction of the Reserve. According to the management plan, it stated that as independent and permanent management authority needs to be established inorder to implement the conservation management plan effectively.

Dedicated to the extraordinary contributions of our beloved King JigmeKhesarNamgyelWangchukthe Fifth DrukGyelpoon Environment protection and conservation, the reserve was renamed to JigmeKhesar Strict Nature Reserve in October 2014 from its apparent name from Toorsa Strict Nature Reserve. As mentioned earlier, the Reserve got fully operationalized in the year 2010.

Objective: To enhance the effective management, maintain ecological integrity and ensure conservation measures in place.

Contact Info:

  • Telephone No.: +975 08 375300
  • Fax No.: +975 08 375386

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