In the tiny Himalayan kingdom, towards the south of Bhutan stands Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary the smallest, in fact the second smallest wildlife sanctuaries in the country. Except to those conservationists, the significance starting from its existence would be unknown due to its silent and budding stage of being furnished wildlife sanctuary. Even to me, the educative value and existence of sanctuary is known only in my college days when the stimuli of exploring protected area system pass along the nerves of my inactive cells. For those interested personnel, when the educative value of social media fasten with globalization, I am sharing five important facts of Phibsoo Wlidlife Sanctuary with the hope of benefiting individual with the passion of exploring biodiversity and nature.
1. Home to Endemic Spotted Deer (Axis axis)
The unique deer known as spotted deer for its striking attribute of being spotted all over the body, is endemic mostly in Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary. By the fact of the area being the easternmost limit of spotted deer, the species is found cherishing the beauty of grassland in the plains of Phibsoo bordering with India. The provoking conservationist importance of species being endemic is valued and protected by the management plans with rules and regulations. “Chital’ is the name often known by the local inhabitants. The diversity of species ranges along the park and is spotted even in two ranges of Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary. Nichula Range though far from Phibsoo yet the species is spotted mostly in the farmlands of Solaytar as one cause of human wildlife conflict. The wildlife sanctuary in the last management plant has studied the ecology and diversity of species and the results are positively expected to be showcased in the following days.
2. Only place in country with Natural Sal (Shorea robusta)
Natural sal…. Yes the sanctuary only harbors the natural Sal in the country. Sal known for its hard and lasting nature with strong interconnected fiber is located only in Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary and it’s the only natural sal. The wood catching high conservationist value has been protected by the Rules and Regulations as special class. Widely, natural sal is located in Phibsoo Range but is also found along the border to the forest of Nichula Range. Otherwise story of Sal starts with its immense pressure from illegal loggers along the border. The woods in border are rarely alive despite its importance as protected special tree. No, it’s not dead but is being tortured by illegal loggers with immense pressure
3. Home to Four Species of Hornbill
By the fact of Bhutan being a part of Sino- Himalayan forest, Indo-Burmese forest, Indo-Gangetic grasslands, south Asian arid-habitats and Tibetan plateau of wetlands, the country harbors to more than 715 species of birds. Phibsoo wildlife sanctuary is also rich in bird diversity and is also home to four species of Hornbill in Bhutan. Oriental Pied Horbill, Great Horbill, and Wreathed Hornbill are found showcasing their styles within that subtropical forest while Rufous-necked Horbill hardly flaps its wings. For Hornbill lovers, the sanctuary would be a better place as one could easily notice the species when entered the gateway of wildlife sanctuary.
4. Only Forest station in country with Outpost and No Beat station
Yes, Phibsoo wildlife sanctuary is unique starting from its biodiversity till management plan implementation. The beauty of biodiversity within those easternmost and westernmost limits is managed beautifully with outpost station at Phibsoo beside two ranges. The reality of paramilitary with weapon is only seen in the sanctuary when the ranger lives in outpost for months away from dear ones. Needless to say, the sanctuary doesn’t have beat station by the fact of being small and able with two ranges. The truth is there are insufficient staffs to existing range rather than thinking of having beat station but that is fact which make the sanctuary unique.
5. One of the Country’s Hottest and lowest point with “65” meters above sea level
In the plains of Lhamoyzingkha the area known for divine significance has been one of the hottest places in Bhutan. The charm of its heat is being experience in summer with temperature ranging from 30 to38 degrees Celsius. And for me it is the hottest place in Bhutan. The lowest point of 65 meters is located in the area of wildlife sanctuary in the Beach of Sunkosh River an hour walk from Lhamoyzingkha. However, its confirmation and acceptance will be on notice when wildlife sanctuary publishes its second conservation management plans.