The people of Bhutan have a right to be very proud of their rich heritage. There is no other place like Druk Yul, "the Land of the Thunder Dragon," as Bhutan is known to its inhabitants. Nor are there any other people quite like the Bhutanese.

photo M. Noonan
A Bhutanese proverb recalls the philosophy of the everyday person toward life

Hatred never ceases by
hatred in this world.
Through loving kindness
alone it becomes appeased.
This is the Eternal Law.

Despite its small size, Bhutan and the areas around it form one of the most critical sites for conserving the great diversity of species that are found here on earth. Although it is located high in the Himalayas, it also encompasses areas of hot tropical climates. It sits across two biogeographical regions, the temperate Palearctic of northern Asia and the tropical Indo-Malayan of Southeast Asia. In Bhutan, within a span of just 200 kms, one can travel from subtropical forests to alpine ice caps.

Because of this varying climate, Bhutan supports more species than any other country in the Himalayan region. And because of their Buddhist respect for life, the Bhutanese people have not characteristically hunted their wildlife . As a result, even as forests disappear from neighboring countries, Bhutan is serving as a refuge for many endangered animals. Their large forests (covering more than two-thirds of the country) have remained largely untouched.

photo M. Noonan is a program of Canisius College, Buffalo, NY.                                                  Web Design by Ivan Andrijevic