Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary
Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the eastern most part of the country in Trashigang Dzongkhag. It encompasses a total area of 740.60 square kilometer covering almost three fourth of Merak and Sakteng geogs under Trashigang Dzongkhag and part of Lauri geog under Samdrupjonkhar Dzongkhag. To retain floral and faunal diversity, the Sanctuary is well connected by Biological Corridor to the southern part of the country which is a part of the Bhutan Biological Conservation Complex (B2C2). The Sanctuary is situated in the remotest part of the country where only limited developmental programmes have been implemented in the two geogs so far. Highlanders living in the park area are semi-nomadic and use large areas as grazing land for their cattle. Livestock rearing is the main socio-economy of Merak and Sakteng where 83% of the household income is generated from livestock husbandry. Very few people living in the lower areas depend on subsistence farming.
The floral diversity of SWS comprises a wide range of ecosystem comprising of different forest types within an altitude ranging from 1700-4100 masl. It represents diversity of eastern Himalayan terrestrial eco-system-alpine meadows, temperate forest and warm broadleaf forest.
Out of the total 46 species of Rhododendrons in the country, the Sanctuary has 35 species of Rhododendrons growing in the wild and is popularly known as the “Paradise of Rhododendrons” in the country which is very much similar to the Garden of Eden in the west. The forest contains 203 tree species including herbs, shrubs, and small trees. The Sanctuary is also famous for faunal diversity harbouring globally threatened and endangered species like the Red panda, Himalayan serow, Wild dog, Goral, Common leopard, Capped langur, Himalayan black bear, Musk deer and Jungle cat to name a few. There are 20 species of mammal species and 147 species of bird species.
Highlight of Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary
Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary in Bhutan, located in Merak and Sakteng Gewogs of Trashigang District and just crossing the border into Samdrup Jongkhar District. It is one of the country’s protected areas and is listed as a tentative site in Bhutan’s Tentative List for UNESCO inclusion.