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Conservation Management Zones of Jigme Dorji National Park

Authors:
  • Jigme Dorji National Park

Abstract and Figures

Conservation Management Zones of Jigme Dorji
National Park
Jigme Dorji National Park
Department of Forests and Park Services
Ministry of Agriculture and Forests
Damji: Gasa
Management zones of Jigme Dorji National Park
Jigme Dorji National Park
Department of Forests and Park Services
Ministry of Agriculture and Forests
2021
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
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Report prepared by
1. Rinzin Dorji (Sr. Forestry Officer)
2. Pema Dendup (Sr. Forestry Officer)
With the contribution from both former and present contributors
1. Rinzin Dorji (Chief Forestry Officer Jigme Dorji National Park)
2. Lhendup Tharchen (Chief Forestry Officer Paro Forest Division)
3. Phuntsho (Sr Forest Officer Forest Resources Management Division)
4. Yonten Jamtsho (Forestry Officer JDNP)
5. Wangchuk (Forestry Officer JDNP)
6. Leki (Sr. Forest Ranger II Jigme Dorji National Park)
7. Tandin Dorji (Sr. Forest Ranger II JDNP)
8. Chhimi Namgyal (Sr. Forest Ranger II JDNP)
9. Sherab Tenzin (Forest Ranger I JDNP)
10. Leki Wangdi (Forest Ranger II JDNP)
11. Kezang Dorji (Sr. Forest Ranger I Paro Forest Division)
12. Phuntsho (Sr. Forest Ranger I Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park)
13. Dagay (Sr. Forest Ranger II Gedu Forest Division)
14. Sangay Dorji (Sr. Forester Gedu Forest Division)
15. Pema Dorji (Sr. Forest Ranger I Paro Forest Division)
16. Ugyen (ex Sr. Forest Ranger II Paro Forest Division)
17. Karma Wangchuk (Sr. Forester Royal Manas National Park)
18. Jangchuk Gyeltshen (Sr. Forest Ranger I Phrumsengla National Park)
19. Gyeltshen Wangdi (Sr. Forester Wangdue Forest Division)
20. Dorji Wangdi (Sr. Forester Wangdue Forest Division)
21. Tendrel Zangpo (Forest Ranger I Wangdue Forest Division)
22. Tashi Dorji (Sr. Forester Samtse Forest Division)
23. Prakash Chhetri (Forest Ranger II Tashigang Forest Division)
24. Dorji Gyeltshen (Forest Ranger II Tashigang Forest Division)
Suggest suggestion:
JDNP (2021). Management zones of Jigme Dorji National Park. Department of Forests and Park
Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. Damji, Gasa, Bhutan.
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS ................................................................................................................ 1
LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES............................................................................................... 4
Abstract ........................................................................................................................................... 5
1. Introduction ............................................................................................................................. 6
2. Background .............................................................................................................................. 7
2.1 Brief history of JDNP ....................................................................................................... 7
2.2 Conservation significance of JDNP ................................................................................. 8
2.3 Bio-physical ..................................................................................................................... 9
2.4 Floral Characteristics...................................................................................................... 11
3. Conservation Objectives ........................................................................................................ 12
4. Methodology .......................................................................................................................... 13
4.1. Preliminary data gathering ............................................................................................. 13
4.2. Mapping GPS data with the help of Google Earth ............................................................ 14
4.2.1 Park Range boundary correction ................................................................................ 14
5. Jigme Dorji National Park Management Zones (Zonation) .................................................. 15
5.1 Principles of zoning ........................................................................................................ 15
5.3 Criteria for delineation of zones in JDNP ...................................................................... 16
5.3.1 Criteria for delineation of core zones:.................................................................... 16
5.3.2 Criteria for delineation of transition zones: ........................................................... 16
5.3.3 Criteria for delineation of multiple-use zones: ....................................................... 17
5.3.4 Criteria for delineation of buffer zones: ................................................................. 17
5.4 Zoning Decision ............................................................................................................. 17
5.5 Definition of Zones ........................................................................................................ 18
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6. Implementation ...................................................................................................................... 20
6.1 Description of JDNP boundary ...................................................................................... 20
6.2 Range boundary information .......................................................................................... 23
6.2.1 Gasa Park Range Office (GPRO) ........................................................................... 23
6.2.2 Laya Park Range Office (LaPRO) .......................................................................... 23
6.3 Designation and description of zones............................................................................. 24
6.3.1 Description of Core Zone........................................................................................ 25
6.3.2 Description of Transition Zone ............................................................................... 26
6.3.3 Multiple Use Zone ................................................................................................... 27
6.3.4 Description of JDNP Buffer Zone ........................................................................... 28
6.4 Rules and regulation for zones ....................................................................................... 30
6.4.1 Constitutional Provisions........................................................................................ 30
6.4.2 The National Forest Policy, 2011 (Revision of Forest Policy 1974) ...................... 30
6.4.3 The Land Act of Bhutan 2007 ................................................................................. 30
6.4.4 National Environment Protection Act (NEPA) 2007 .............................................. 31
6.4.5 Legal provisions ...................................................................................................... 31
6.4.6 Regulations in different zones ................................................................................. 32
6.5 Threats ............................................................................................................................ 34
7. Conclusion ............................................................................................................................. 35
8. References ............................................................................................................................. 36
9. Bibliography .......................................................................................................................... 36
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LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURES
TABLES
Table 1. Gasa Khatoed climatic condition 2760 m. ...................................................................... 10
Table 2. Park range with their old and new area........................................................................... 14
Table 3: Districts and sub-districts falling inside the Jigme Dorji National Park ........................ 20
Table 4: Types of zones, its area and percent of the total area ..................................................... 25
FIGURES
Figure 1. Mean annual temperature and rainfall of Khatoed, Gasa. ............................................. 11
Figure 2. Management zones (zonation) in Jigme Dorji National Park. ...................................... 15
Figure 3: Map showing Jigme Dorji National Park boundary across districts and sub-districts and
the international boundary. ........................................................................................................... 21
Figure 4: Map showing area of range offices under JDNP with the location of field offices, VICs
and checkpoints. ............................................................................................................................ 24
Figure 5: Core zone in JDNP ........................................................................................................ 26
Figure 6: Transition zone in JDNP ............................................................................................... 27
Figure 7: Multiple Use Zone in JDNP .......................................................................................... 28
Figure 8: Buffer zone in JDNP ..................................................................................................... 29
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Abstract
Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP) with an area of 4374.06 km2 covers the northwestern part of
Bhutan covering approximately 1/10th of the total geographical area of the country. With the park
jurisdiction spreading in fourteen gewogs falling under four districts, its management had been a
challenge. As such, community participation has played a vital role in the success of JDNP
management over the last four and half decades of its conservation history. Considering the
vastness of the park coupled with a diverse wealth of biodiversity and the presence of settlements
inside the park, JDNP envisions being “a conservation heritage of harmonious co-existence
between human and nature in northwestern Bhutan for healthy ecosystem and socio-economic
wellbeing of the society while maintaining cultural integrity of the landscape”. Through the
provision of rights to the people in using natural resources and land use, defining the
management regimes based on different conservation zones has become critical for the
conservation of biodiversity on one hand and ensuring the livelihood of the park residents on the
other.
Apart from its diverse ecosystem types and rich biodiversity, JDNP has been recognized
as the hotspot for snow leopard and takin conservation in Bhutan. Further, the park serves as
critical watershed areas for the four major river systems of Bhutan benefiting the low land areas
in terms of water for household uses and irrigation purposes and contributes significantly to the
national economy through hydropower generation.
The zoning exercise involved the collection of field data and gathering secondary data
from reports and records of the past more essentially the consultation with stakeholders
(particularly the park residents). The information-gathering was done with the help of tools like
Google Earth and data forms by our experienced field staff. We used GIS software to map the
areas into the core, transition, multiple-use and buffer zones by following the principles and
criteria set in the zonation guideline. The Do’s, Don’ts and potential threats in the different zones
were defined. This zonation document is therefore expected to serve as the foundation for future
conservation and a guiding document for developmental activities and scientific interventions
inside the park.
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1. Introduction
The physical boundary of Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP) was updated in 2020 by the
Department of Forests and Park Services (DoFPS) and the park currently covers an area of
4374.06 square kilometres (km2). JDNP is an important national park in the northwestern part of
Bhutan that is connected to Wangchuck Centennial National Park (WCNP) in the eastern part
and biological corridors linked to south and west by Jigme Singye Wangchuk National Park
(JSWNP) and Jigme Khesar Strict Nature Reserve (JKSNR) respectively.
The vast alpine ecosystem constitutes a unique feature of the national park as compared
to other protected areas in the country. The rugged terrain and harsh climatic conditions favoured
the protection of this area from most human interventions and disturbances despite having the
settlement within the park. This remoteness coupled with favourable conditions for protection
allowed the survival of diverse life forms to develop in their natural ecosystems for centuries.
With great variation in altitude, ranging from 1400 meter (m) to over 6500 m, JDNP has diverse
ecosystems from subtropical habitat to alpine ecosystem supporting rich biodiversity. It may be
the only place on the earth where the habitat of two charismatic predator species overlaps, the
Royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris) and snow leopard (Panthera uncia). Further, JDNP is home
to nine wild felid species belonging to seven genera recorded during five consecutive surveys
over the last nine years (Jamtsho et al., 2021). These are tiger (Panthera tigris), snow leopard
(Panthera uncia), leopard (Panthera pardus), clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), Asiatic
golden cat (Catopuma temminckii), marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata), leopard cat
(Prionailurus bengalensis), jungle cat (Felis chaus), and Pallas’s cat (Octocolobus manul). JDNP
also harbors 415 species of birds (Dendup et al., 2020) and some of the notable species are
critically endangered white-bellied heron (Ardea insignis), endangered Pallas’s fish eagle
(Haliaeetus leucoryphus) and steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis), vulnerable black-necked crane
(Grus nigricollis), chestnut-breasted partridge (Arborophila mandellii) and wood snipe
(Gallinago nemoricola) and near-threatened bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), Himalayan
vulture (Gyps himalayensis), northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), river lapwing (Vanellus
duvaucelii), satyr tragopan (Tragopan satyra), yellow-rumped honeyguide (Indicator
xanthonotus) and Ward’s trogon (Harpactes wardi). Other charismatic pheasants like Himalayan
monal (Lophophorus impejanus) and blood pheasant (Ithaginis cruentus) are also present.
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
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Unlike other protected areas (PAs) in the region and/or in the world, PAs in Bhutan have
settlements inside them, with few exceptions; our conservation approach is participatory and
involves local communities. Communities within the PAs enjoy rights and privileges related to
the use of natural resources and land use. When considering the rights of the people over
resource use and at the same time balancing long term conservation goals of the park, zonation
becomes an indispensable tool. Therefore, carefully assigning zones that serve different
functions by following a thorough scientific understanding of the park underpin the future of the
conservation in JDNP.
Park zoning is considered a cornerstone of management, separating conflicting uses and
determining the appropriateness of activities (Geneletti & Duren, 2008). Zonation is defined as
a process of classifying a national park, a wildlife sanctuary or a strict nature reserve into
different zones to be managed for a specific purpose (NCD, 2020). As per the PA zonation
guideline, the PAs are broadly categorized into four major zones, Core Zone, Transition Zone,
Multiple-use Zone and Buffer Zone.
Park zonation is backed by the legal provisions in Chapter VI and VII of the Forest and
Nature Conservation Act (FNCA) of Bhutan, 1995, Chapter III, VII, XII and XIII of Forest and
Nature Conservation Rules and Regulations (FNCRR) of Bhutan, 2017/20 and Section 2.5.2 (iii),
(vii) and (xiv) of National Forest Policy (NFP), 2011.
Field data collections were very consultative as our field rangers collected all required
information in consultation with local people. The field rangers were equally involved in
mapping the management zones of JDNP. We involved all stakeholders during the public
consultation to get the consensus of all parties involved as per the requirement set in the
guideline.
2. Background
2.1 Brief history of JDNP
JDNP was originally gazetted as a wildlife sanctuary in 1974 in fond memory of the country’s
much-beloved King, The Druk Gyalpo Jigme Dorji Wangchuck (1925-1972). The erstwhile
wildlife sanctuary that covered almost the northern belt of the country was confined to north-
western regions of the country that covered only 3,900 km2 and was re-categorized into a
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national park during the nationwide review exercise conducted in 1993 (DoF, 1993). Following a
revision of the park boundary in 2008, it covered an area of 4,316 km2. Again, during the initial
zonation exercise in December 2014 some areas of the park were swapped with Wangchuk
Centennial National Park (WCNP) for ease of conducting day to day duties by field staff of both
the parks whereby the area of the park increased to 4449.09 km2. With the most recent update of
PA boundaries by DoFPS in 2020, the park finally covers an area of 4374.06 km2 and is the
second-largest PA in the country, second only to WCNP.
2.2 Conservation significance of JDNP
JDNP is undoubtedly the conservation jewel in the eastern Himalayas. It is the only park where
one can find thriving populations of the endangered Royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris)
and the vulnerable snow leopard (Panthera uncia) sharing their habitat. Surveys have revealed
the presence of 6 to 7 tigers in JDNP (Thinley et al., 2015; WCD, 2019); 6 individuals reported
present in Punakha and Gasa areas of JDNP and home to nine wild felid species (Jamtsho, 2020;
Jamtsho et al., 2021). With an estimated density of about 6 snow leopards per 100 km2 (Thinley
et al., 2014), the park can be the hotspot for snow leopard conservation in Bhutan. JDNP is also
home to several other endangered floral and faunal species due to its varying vegetation types
starting from sub-tropical forests to alpine meadows and snow-clad mountains. Among many
other threatened faunal species thriving in the park, the most notable ones are Himalayan musk
deer (Moschus chrysogaster), Bhutan takin (Budorcas taxicolor whitei), Asiatic wild dog (Cuon
alpinus), red panda (Ailurus fulgens), Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus), sambar (Cervus
unicolor), blue sheep (Psuedois nayuar), white-bellied heron (Ardea insignis), Pallas’s fish eagle
(Haliaeetus leucoryphus) and steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis), black-necked crane (Grus
nigricollis), chestnut-breasted partridge (Arborophila mandellii) and wood snipe (Gallinago
nemoricola), bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), Himalayan vulture (Gyps himalayensis),
northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus), river lapwing (Vanellus duvaucelii), satyr tragopan
(Tragopan satyra), yellow-rumped honeyguide (Indicator xanthonotus) and Ward’s trogon
(Harpactes wardi).
It is also the treasure trove of medicinal plants, natural hot springs, medicinal water, and
magnificent sceneries. The Chinese caterpillars, Ophiocordyceps sinensis (commonly known as
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cordyceps) that grow in the higher elevations of the park are collected by the park residents
annually following sustainable collection practices. It fetches a high price in the international
market which in turn helps the livelihood of the high-altitude park residents. The recent socio-
economic survey revealed that the park residents earned a total income worth Nu. 477.8 million
from the sale of cordyceps in 2019. This was followed by Nardostachys grandiflora and
Picrorhiza kurroa which earned income close to 40 and 15 million respectively. Besides, there
are several other medicinal plants such as the Paris polyphylla, Gentiana sp., Pedicularis sp.,
Meconopsis sp., Delphinium sp. and Aconitum sp. for which there is a high demand from both
international and local market.
Another salient feature that distinguishes JDNP from the rest of Bhutan’s PAs is that it
harbours three national symbols of the nation viz. takin (Budorcas taxicolor whitei), northern
raven (Corvex corex), and the cypress (Cupressus corneyana).
Hydrologically, four major river basins namely the Phochhu, Mochhu, Pachhu and
Wangchhu originates from the snow-capped mountains of the park, thus it can be considered the
water tower of the country. Several mega hydropower plants have been either built or in the
process of being built downstream of these rivers. Sale of electricity generated from those
hydropower plants that are operational account for a huge percentage of the gross domestic
product (GDP). While tourism is another sector that contributes tremendously to the country’s
GDP, JDNP is a significant contributor to the national tourism industry, especially for nature
tourism. It is the only park in Bhutan where the largest number of international tourists trek
through the paradisiacal alpine meadows and snow-capped mountains. Among many trek routes
used by nature tourists, the Jomolhari Mountain trek and the Snowman trek are the most
frequented trekking routes chosen by the tourist because of their scenic natural beauty.
2.3 Bio-physical
The landscape features in JDNP are generally rugged with hills rising from south to north, and
likewise the elevation changes from 1,400 m in the southern part of the park to above 7,300 m in
the north. The areas above 6,000 m remain permanently covered with snow. Bhutan’s popular
snow-capped mountain peaks, such as Mt. Jomolhari (7,314 m/23,996 ft), Mt. Jichudrakey
(6,794 m/22,290 ft), Mt. Tsherimgang (6,650 m/21,818 ft), Mt. Gangchentag (6,794 m/22,290
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
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ft), Mt. Masangang (7,194 m/23,602 ft), Mt. Tsendagang (6,994 m/22,946 ft), Mt.
Jayikangphugang (7,194 m/23,602 ft), and Mt. Gangchen Singye (a.k.a. Table Mountain; 7094
m/23,274 ft), are all found inside JDNP along the northern international border with the Tibetan
Autonomous State of China. Beautiful moraine lakes are formed at the base of almost all the
snow-capped peaks, some of which remain buried under the ice during peak winter. Besides,
there are also areas with permanent glacier such as the Rinchenzoe glacier at the base of
Gangchen Singye and Gangjula glacier.
The climate in the lower areas is generally warm and moist with a good amount of
rainfall in summer receiving a total annual rainfall of 1783.5 mm (Table 1) and mean annual
temperature of 10.7 oC (Fig.1) and cold and dry in winter, whereas in the uplands it is cool and
moist in summer and extremely cold and snowy in winter. The huge variations in topography,
elevations, and climatic conditions have a direct influence on vegetation types and livelihood of
the people, and these factors explain the existence of types of vegetative covers and livelihood
patterns of people living in different vegetation zones. These geophysical features also pose
serious challenges in carrying out the conservation activities and providing beneficial services to
the park residents by the park staff.
Table 1. Gasa climatic condition 2760 m (data collected for meteorological station based on
Khatoed gewog).
Parameters
Values
Annual mean temperature (oC)
10.7
Winter temperature (oC)
4.6
Summer temperature (oC)
16.5
Temperature sum (WI) (oC months-1)
68.9
Total rainfall (mm)
1783.5
Potential evapo-transpiration ratio (PER)
0.3
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Figure 1. Mean annual temperature and rainfall of Khatoed, Gasa.
2.4 Floral Characteristics
Although in JDNP there are representations, we follow ecosystem types classified for Bhutan
(Ohsawa, 1987), of all five major ecosystem types. These are subtropical forest (ST) (1000
2000 m), warm temperate forest (WT) (2000 2500 m), cool temperate forest (CT) (2500 3000
m), subarctic/cold temperate forest (CO) (3000 4000 m) and rhododendron scrub (RS) (>4000
m). From our recent rapid biodiversity assessment (RBA) data, the similarity index test (using
PC-ORD 5) revealed three broad ecological zones, i.e., tropical, temperate and alpine. Though
there are no true tropical forests in JDNP, depending on the aspect of the locations there are sub-
tropical species such as Toona ciliata, Michelia sp., Morus macroura, Dalbergia sericea,
Engelhardia spicata, Bischofia javanica and Pinus roxurghii that are found in altitude less than
2000 m, some of them can very much occur in tropical forest too. While in the temperate region
(2000 3000 m) the dominant species are Quercus lamellosa, Q. glauca, Q. oxyodon, Q. lanata,
Q. griffithii, Q. semicarpifolia,Castanopsis tribuloides, Rhododendron arboretum, Tsuga
0
100
200
300
400
500
-5
0
5
10
15
20
25
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rainfall (mm)
Annual mean temperature (oC)
Months of the year
Rainfall Av Max Min
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dumosa. Tree species dominant in alpine region are Picea spinulosa, Abies densa, Juniperus sp.
and Betula sp.
A total of 1434 species of vascular plants belonging to 144 families and 563 genera (9
genera, 13 species of gymnosperms; 554 genera, 1421 species of angiosperms) were recorded in
the park (JDNP, 1996). The RBA captured a total of 507 confirmed trees, shrubs and herbs
species from 102 families and 262 genera. Higher species diversity of tree/shrub (3.09) and
richness (81) was observed in a subtropical forest, with a higher proportion of evergreen trees in
lower elevation, whereas higher elevations had a higher share of coniferous trees.
For herbaceous species, high species richness was observed in rhododendron scrub (205)
but the cold temperate forest had high diversity (4.7) and evenness (0.94). A total of 358 species
of herbs from 181 genera representing 72 families was recorded from the survey. The
Compositae/Asteraceae family had the highest number of species (54) followed by the Rosaceae
family (25).
3. Conservation Objectives
Ensure long-term survival of rare, endangered, endemic, and keystone species through
the delineation of management zones.
Encourage maximum community participation in sustainable management of the natural
resources in the multiple-use zones.
Maximize community participation in sustainable use and protection of natural resources.
Conduct topical research to adapt to the impending threats of climate change.
Carry out scientific studies and research to mitigate human-wildlife conflict in the park.
Promote community-based nature tourism in the park to foster and enhance community
participation and ownership in the management of the park.
Carefully mitigate the impacts of developmental activities in the park.
Ensure that buffer zone serves its intended purpose of acting as a cushion between the
multiple-use, transition and the core zones.
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4. Methodology
4.1. Preliminary data gathering
The six park ranges of JDNP were tasked with data collection for zoning including active
participation from the local communities despite having adequate data from previous surveys and
patrolling. Selected staff from each park range was set out in the field to gather comprehensive
data as follows;
Important wildlife habitats, wildlife migratory routes, waterholes, salt licks or direct
sighting of keystone species (prevailing records of wildlife habitat were used instead of
carrying out separate habitat inventory).
Areas with high biodiversity and/or endangered as well as endemic species.
Religious and cultural sites and pristine undisturbed forests or areas including sacred
forests (Nyeshing).
Local resource (timber, firewood, poles, agricultural implements) use areas and grazing
areas (traditional grazing right owned areas are included as well).
Cordyceps and medicinal plants collection areas.
Settlements and herder camps.
Trail, mule tracks and motor roads.
The team mapped the multiple-use areas by using the resource mapping tool of participatory
rural appraisal (PRA) in consultation with the communities, while the point data were either
collected from the field or obtained from previous records. Once they obtained the resource map
and other field data required for zoning, as per the zonation guideline, we mapped the whole park
into four different zones. We gathered additional data from the field for provisioning a new zone
which is the “Transition Zone. In cordyceps collection areas, we gathered information on the
highest altitude where cordyceps were recorded in different ranges and the average altitude was
found to be 4200 m. Furthermore, we also gathered information on the height of the traditional
routes and found out to be 5200 m along Mt. Gangla Karchung. Areas within 4200 m 5200 m
were mapped as transitional zone.
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4.2. Mapping GPS data with the help of Google Earth
4.2.1 Park Range boundary correction
With the new park boundary, we also realigned, adjusted or corrected the range boundaries for
JDNP to ease the execution of the day-to-day activities by individual park ranges. Major changes
were made in the boundary between Ruecheyna and Lunana park ranges as the former had a
fairly smaller area to manage while the latter being the largest park range in JDNP in terms of
area (Table 2). It was deemed necessary to readjust the boundaries of these ranges both from a
logistic and managerial point of view. Erstwhile Ramina park range was eventually renamed as
Ruecheyna park range. This is because Ruecheyna is the name of the place at which the current
range headquarters is located. Boundary adjustments were also made for Laya and Gasa ranges
to ease the monitoring of resource collection by the communities.
Table 2. Park range with their old and new area
Sl. No.
Name of the Park Range
Area (km2)
Old
New
1
Gasa
436
499.45
2
Laya
967
904.04
3
Lingzhi
745
732.38
4
Lunana
1030
1578.48
5
Ruecheyna
750
233.40
6
Soe
388
426.31
Since the park range boundaries were made clear among all the ranges, a shapefile of JDNP with
all six park ranges was produced. The representatives from each park ranges then identified and
collected multiple-use zone data such as trails, campsites, resource collection site, settlements
and religious sites, grazing areas, cordyceps collection areas, etc. within their range jurisdiction
using Google Earth Pro. The kmz files were submitted to the park headquarters for converting
into shapefiles for producing different management zones.
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5. Jigme Dorji National Park Management Zones (Zonation)
The generic definition of zonation is the categorization of biomes into zones based on their
distribution or arrangement in a habitat as determined by environmental factors such as altitude,
latitude, temperature etc. It is also defined as "a process of assigning functions to a unit area to
be managed for a specific purpose. The unit area may consist of a national park, wildlife
sanctuary, or a biological corridor" (Wangchuk, 2012) (Fig. 2).
Figure 2. Management zones (zonation) in Jigme Dorji National Park.
5.1 Principles of zoning
The delineation of the zones and development of management regimes in JDNP were based on
the sustainable principles as follows;
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Maintain ecological stability of important habitats of the keystone and iconic species such
as tiger, snow leopard, takin, red panda, wild dogs, common leopard, musk deer and
Himalayan black bear.
Maintain viable population of flora and fauna
Ensure habitat connectivity by providing safe migratory routes (eg. the takin routes for
summer and winter habitat)
Maintain ecosystems resilience
Apply experience and expertise of field staff in zoning the park
Give due consideration to resource use areas including the pasture lands both for the park
residents and for communities residing adjacent to the park boundary
Ensure the right to traditional grazing rights, traditional trails and ecotourism trails
Protection of breeding and roosting area of wildlife species (e.g., the Tsharijathang
mudflat is one of the most important breeding habitats for takin during summer)
Protection of endemic species habitat (e.g., Tshophu area for Mecanopsis bhutanica)
Protection of global and national conservation significant species (e.g., tigers, snow
leopard, red panda, musk deer, wild dogs, Himalayan black bear, takin and common
leopard)
5.3 Criteria for delineation of zones in JDNP
5.3.1 Criteria for delineation of core zones:
Binary analysis of the suitable habitats (taking into consideration of landscape-level
environment covariates such as altitude and habitat type) for tigers, snow leopard, red
panda, musk deer, wild dogs, Himalayan black bear, takin and common leopard.
Areas with endemic and globally significant species.
Special landmark such as Jomolhari, Gangchen Tag, etc. (Areas > 5200 m).
Migratory route of takin.
5.3.2 Criteria for delineation of transition zones:
Sacred groves.
Cordyceps and medicinal plant collection areas (4200 m 5200 m).
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
17
Traditionally used grazing or pasture lands (4200 m 5200 m).
Seasonal habitat for takin.
Location of mudflats for takin breeding (Tsharijathang).
5.3.3 Criteria for delineation of multiple-use zones:
500 m buffer from local resource use (fuel-wood, house-building timber, community
forests, sokshings).
50 feet buffer from roads.
500 m buffer from individual or communal grazing land (Tsamdro).
20 m buffer from eco-trails and mule tracks.
500 m buffer from areas around settlement inclusive of herding camps, religious sites and
eco-camp sites.
500 m buffer along with the built-up areas and agriculture land (chuzhing, kamzhing,
orchard)
5.3.4 Criteria for delineation of buffer zones:
Areas around the multiple-use zones (500 m)
Areas along the roads (150 m for dzongkhag road and 50 m for farm roads)
Areas around eco-trails and mule tracks (20 m)
5.4 Zoning Decision
To allow the communities to benefit from the resources available within the park, we decided to
keep the following exceptions and provisions in different zones;
Collection of beneficial resources such as the cordyceps and medicinal plants (only) for a
specific period in a year shall be allowed in the transition zones. This is in line with the
strategic goal of the conservation management plan to bring key natural resources to the
park under a sustainable management framework to enhance the income and livelihood of
the park residents. This is also as per the zonation guidelines.
All the cordyceps collection areas, other important wildlife habitats (Tsharijathang
mudflat) and pasture/grazing land (within 4200 m 5200 m) were considered transition
zones.
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
18
For better management, multiple-use zone was categorized into two; a) traditional use
limited to access, that is the area falling within the vicinity of settlements, 500 m radius
from the fringes of the fields around settlement or traditionally used areas (e.g., firewood,
timber, leaf litter, etc.) and b) traditional use not limited to access are the areas for which
communities have individual or communal right especially for grazing.
5.5 Definition of Zones
1. Core Zone: areas with high conservation values that are seen to provide critical services
for the persistence of flora and fauna of international, national or local importance
including resident or migratory fauna. This is a non-negotiable zone (Fig. 3).
2. Transition Zone: areas of interdependence between wildlife and communities wherein,
traditional and legal rights for sustainable use of natural resources is permitted for a
certain period (e.g., Ophiocordyceps collection areas and pasture lands). The zone
consists of important habitat patches or contiguous habitat that serves as an important
refuge for wildlife or movement of wildlife from core to other zones.
3. Multiple-use Zone: may include settlements, built-up areas, private registered lands and
resource allocation areas for the PA residents. This zone is also termed as a ‘zone of
cooperation’ underscoring the role of cooperation between the park management and its
residents. This is a zone where stakeholders agree to work together to manage and use the
area in a sustainable manner to benefit both people and wildlife.
4. Buffer Zone: is classified mainly to provide a cushioning function to the core or
transition zone when these zones are located near anthropogenic disturbances both from
within and outside of the PAs. The trails that pass through the transition zone will also
become part of the buffer zone after assigning a minimum buffer width on either side.
5.6 Legal status of the zones
JDNP adopted the following zones to meet the overall goal of the park based on the sustainable
principles:
1. Core Zone: All anthropogenic activities shall be prohibited within a core zone except for the
following;
Scientific research
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
19
Habitat management
Note: Seasonal grazing as per the existing grazing rights shall be allowed in exclusive grazing
areas. Core also includes areas >5200 m. Depending on need and urgency, some transition zones
shall be designated as core in future, the decision to designate core must be backed by topical
research findings and recommendations.
2. Transition Zone: The protection status of this zone should be at par with that of the core
zone with regulated exceptions during seasonal use to exercise traditional/legal community
rights as follow;
Cordyceps collection
Collection of non-wood forest produce
Seasonal grazing
Use of traditional/ ancient trails
A seasonal collection of fuelwoods
Use of Tsharijathang mudflat by Layaps
3. Multiple-use Zone: The following activity shall be restricted in the multiple-use zones
except with written permission from DoFPS, and only following a determination that the
activity is necessary to accomplish the objectives of nature conservation and the zone
designation of the protected area.
Timber extraction
Surface collection of stones and boulders for rural use by the local inhabitants
Developmental activities
4. Buffer Zones: The following activities shall be prohibited in the buffer zone except after
obtaining all necessary clearances from the concerned agencies:
Infrastructure development
Timber extraction
NWFP collection
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
20
6. Implementation
6.1 Description of JDNP boundary
JDNP with a total surface area of 4374.06 km2 is the second-largest protected area of Bhutan.
JDNP management functions over four districts, namely Gasa, Punakha, Paro, and Thimphu.
Within these districts, 14 gewogs (sub-districts) are included (Table 3, Fig. 3). JDNP is located
in the north-western part of the country.
Table 3: Districts and sub-districts falling inside the Jigme Dorji National Park
Sl. No.
District
Sub-district
Remarks
1
Gasa
Goen Khatoed
Fully inside the park
2
Gasa
Goen Khamaed
Fully inside the park
3
Gasa
Laya
Fully inside the park
4
Gasa
Lunana
Partially inside the park.
Special note: Phangu is one of the main cordyceps
growing areas under Lunana gewog and the area
falls under WCNP. Till 2020, the staffs of JDNP
have been monitoring cordyceps collection. Since
the area falls under WCNP, we need to discuss and
agree on cordyceps collection monitoring modality
with official endorsement by both the parks.
5
Punakha
Chhubu
Partially inside the park
6
Punakha
Toewang
Partially inside the park
7
Punakha
Goenshari
Partially inside the park
8
Punakha
Kabjisa
Partially inside the park
9
Thimphu
Soe
Partially inside the park
10
Thimphu
Lingzhi
Fully inside the park
11
Thimphu
Naro
Partially inside the park
12
Thimphu
Kawang
Partially inside the park
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
21
13
Paro
Doteng
Partially inside the park
14
Paro
Tsento
Partially inside the park.
Figure 3: Map showing Jigme Dorji National Park boundary across districts and sub-districts
and the international boundary.
Starting extreme west of the park at point 27.787762, 89.234869 (these points are imaginary, but
will help us guide to locate the direction of the boundary) and going clock-wise direction, the
park boundary runs along the international border (China and Bhutan) till Thorthormi lake,
Lunana (north-eastern side of the park). At point 28.139940, 90.281963, the park boundary
descends between the ridgelines of Thorthormitsho and Lhugetsho until point 28.093660,
90.251603. From this point, the border runs along the ridgelines near Phangu. It then follows
inward ridges of Lunana gewog till point 27.972817, 90.049145, where it meets Phochu River.
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
22
The boundary then follows Phochu River till point 27.685743, 89.918117 at Toewang gewog in
Punakha. From this point, the boundary follows the north-western direction above Limkha
village till point 27.688833, 89.913506 and then follows Chhubu chu up till 27.698475,
89.904285. The boundary follows the ridgelines, a gewog boundary of Chubu and Toewang
gewogs in Punakha. At point 27.714136, 89.836948, the boundary runs along the ridges of
Chubu gewog and then passes just behind Sewla Goempa till the gewog boundary of Kabjisa
(Punakha) or until it meets Mochu River. The boundary then follows Mochu river up till Rimchu
27.669153, 89.775691 (Goenshari gewog) and then follows Rimchu river till point 27.676596,
89.744008. From this point on, the boundary again follows ridgelines of Kabjisa gewog
encompassing the famous Kabji Hokotsho till the gewog boundary 27.552381, 89.707917 of
Kawang under Thimphu dzongkhag. From this point on, the boundary travels north-west
following gewog boundary of Kawang (Thimphu) and Kabjisa (Punakha) till the end 27.604788,
89.671764. The boundary then gets inside Kawang gewog of Thimphu district following the
ridgelines just above the Tango shedra. It descends to Dodena where there exists a forest check
post manned and managed by Jigme Dorji National Park. The park boundary then follows the
rivers flowing beneath Chari monastery until the point 27.610200, 89.528191 where the park
boundary meets Naro gewog's gewog boundary. It then follows Naro gewog's alpine scree till
point 27.570781, 89.483987 where it crosses into Doteng gewog of Paro district. The park
boundary then descends till Nego Nigpa and runs north following the river below Chumphu Ney
till it makes the turn at point 27.603710, 89.431813. From this point on, the boundary turns
south-west till the valley below Drakey Phangtsho. The boundary gets inside the gewog
boundary of Tsento gewog. In Tsento gewog, the park boundary runs along the ridgeline
descending to Lhada goempa then towards Chhuyel. From there on, the park boundary runs
parallel to farm road leading towards Shana village till the point 27.611937, 89.279827. From
this point, the park boundary runs down the stream till it meets Pachu River and then following
Pachu River up till Jomphu village (27.730913, 89.283035) under Soe gewog, Thimphu. The
boundary then ascends the ridgelines of Jomphu along Tandro and then reconnects to the first
point at the park's extreme left end.
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
23
6.2 Range boundary information
In JDNP, there are 6 range offices namely, Gasa, Laya, Lingzhi, Lunana, Ruecheyna and Soe
Range Offices (Fig. 4).
6.2.1 Gasa Park Range Office (GPRO)
GPRO with a total area of 499.45 km2 encompasses the whole of Goenkhatoe, Goenkhame and
part of Laya gewogs (sub-districts). The northern part of the boundary is Chamsachu and
towards the northwestern part are the upper ridges of Goen Langtaphu. The GPRO office is
located at Lingmithang in Goenkhatoe gewog, Gasa. The range office also has a beat office to
look after Goenkhame gewog and it is attached with Khamaed gewog office, Damji.
6.2.2 Laya Park Range Office (LaPRO)
LaPRO with a total area of 904.04 km2is the second largest range under JDNP and its boundary
encompasses part of Laya gewog till the boundary of GPRO. The LaPRO office is located at
Dachabsa in Laya gewog, Gasa.
6.2.3 Lingzhi Park Range Office (LiPRO)
LiPRO with a total area of 732.38 km2 is the third-largest range under JDNP and its boundary
encompasses part of Naro, Kawang and the whole of Lingzhi gewogs. The LiPRO office is
located at Dubdey in Lingzhi gewog. In winter the range office functions from Dodena Visitor
Center located at Dodena under Kawang gewog, Thimphu.
6.2.4 Lunana Park Range Office (LuPRO)
LuPRO with a total area of 1578.48 km2 is the largest range under JDNP and its boundary
encompasses parts of Lunana (Gasa), Chhubu and Toewang gewogs (Punakha). The LuPRO
office is located at Lhedi in Lunana gewog. In winter the range office functions from
Neptengkha under Chhubu gewog.
6.2.5 Ruecheyna Park Range Office (RPRO)
RPRO with a total area of 233.40 km2 is the smallest range under JDNP and its boundary
encompasses part of Goenshari and Kabjisa gewogs (Punakha). The RPRO office is located at
Ruecheyna in Goenshari gewog.
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
24
6.2.6 Soe Park Range Office (SPRO)
SPRO with a total area of 426.31 km2 encompasses part of Soe (Thimphu), Doteng and Tsento
gewogs (Paro). The SPRO is located at Dangochong in Soe gewog. In winter the range office
functions from Ramitsekha field office located at Tsento gewog.
Figure 4: Map showing area of range offices under JDNP with the location of field offices, VICs
and checkpoints.
6.3 Designation and description of zones
The mapping of JDNP areas into different zones (core, transition, multiple and buffer) was done
following the guidelines of zonation and assigning appropriate zone with priority to flora and
fauna based on their habitat use. Nevertheless, every effort was put in at the time of exercise to
ensure not to jeopardize the day-to-day dependence of park resident communities on forest
resources. JDNP designated FOUR ZONES with different area coverage (Table 4) as legal zones
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
25
for implementation of any interventions intended both for the benefit of the flora, fauna and to
the park resident communities;
Table 4: Types of zones, its area and percent of the total area
Zone Type
Area (sq. km)
Percent Area
Core Zone
1228.89
28.09
Transition Zone
1781.29
40.72
Multiple Use Zone
852.65
19.49
Buffer Zone
511.24
11.69
6.3.1 Description of Core Zone
Core zones in JDNP cover an area of 1228.89 km2 which is 28.09 percent of the total protected
area (Table 4). This zone broadly covers the habitat of keystone/umbrella/flagship faunal species
such as tiger, snow leopard, red panda, musk deer, takin, wild dogs, common leopard and
Himalayan black bear. For all of these species, we carried out habitat suitability analysis (Binary)
in ArcGIS. The results with areas less than 200 ha (2 km2) were removed as the polygon is too
small to be monitored. Other habitats of endemic and globally significant flora species are also
included in this zone. Areas above 5200 m encompassing special landmarks such as Jomolhari,
Gangchen Tag, etc. and the migratory route of takin are also included in the core (Fig. 5).
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
26
Figure 5: Core zone in JDNP
6.3.2 Description of Transition Zone
The area adjacent to the core zone and/or between the core zone and buffer zones are kept as the
transition zone. The upper limit of the transition zone is 5200 m. In this zone, cordyceps
harvesting and seasonal grazing areas of livestock shall be allowed as per the existing traditional
rights. The seasonal habitat of takin in Tsharijathang mudflat and other sacred groves (Nye-
shings) in Laya, Lingzhi and Lunana were mapped as the transition zone (Fig. 6). The area under
transition zone in JDNP is 1781.29 km2 that is 40.72 percent of the total area (Table 4).
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
27
Figure 6: Transition zone in JDNP
6.3.3 Multiple Use Zone
This zone includes resources collection areas of the communities, communal grazing near
settlements, agriculture land and pastureland, areas around settlements, campsites, religious sites
herder-camps and the right of way along the highway, farm roads, eco-trails and mule-tracks. All
above points, except the roads and trails, were given a radius of 500 m crow-fly distance and are
merged to form an overall polygon for multiple use area (Fig. 7). For the highway, farm roads,
mule tracks and trails we kept the right of ways as multiple-use zones (50 feet for roads and 20
meters for trails). The radius of 500 m from the settlement, built-up areas, private registered
lands, resource allocation areas and pasturelands; 50 feet on either side from the roads and 20 m
from the trails were provided to have enough/adequate areas to meet the resource demand of the
park residents in future. Furthermore, as per the Forest Management Code of Bhutan, PAs are
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
28
mandated to come up with plans for Local Forest Management Areas from within the multiple-
use zone. Owing to the small population coupled with small landholding
1
as compared to the
geographic extent of the area, the multiple-use zone covers fairly less (852.65 km2 that is 19.49
percent of the total area) as compared to the transition zone (Table 4).
Figure 7: Multiple Use Zone in JDNP
6.3.4 Description of JDNP Buffer Zone
We assigned buffer around all multiple-use zones as per the existing guidelines which is as
follows:
500 m buffer around all multiple-use zone except as mentioned below:
1
The recent socio-economic survey found that only 87.58 km2 i.e. 2% of total land area of JDNP are owned by the
local communities either with Lag Thram (certificate of ownership) or with traditional rights to use the resources.
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
29
o 150 m buffer on both sides of the highway
o 50 m buffer on both sides of the farm road
o 20 m buffer from the trails
No separate buffer was given for cores, as it must be simply understood by the communities that
once they cross the buffer around multiple-use zones, they enter into either the transition or the
core zones. The buffer zone covers an area of 511.24 km2 which corresponds to 11.69 percent of
the total park area.
Figure 8: Buffer zone in JDNP
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
30
6.4 Rules and regulation for zones
6.4.1 Constitutional Provisions
Article (5) of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2008 is solely about the environment
of which three most relevant articles for zonation are as follows;
Article 5.1, Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2008 states that "Every Bhutanese is a
trustee of the Kingdom’s natural resources and environment for the benefit of the present and
future generations and it is the fundamental duty of every citizen to contribute to the protection
of the natural environment, conservation of the rich biodiversity and prevention of all forms of
ecological degradation…through the adoption and support of environment-friendly practices
and policies."
Article 5.2, of the Constitution, says, "The Royal Government shall: protect, conserve and
improve the pristine environment and safeguard the biodiversity of the country; prevent pollution
and ecological degradation; secure ecologically balanced sustainable development; and ensure
a safe and healthy environment."
Article 5.5, The Parliament may declare any part of the country to be a National Park, Wildlife
Sanctuary, Nature Reserve, Protected Forest, Biological Corridor, Biosphere Reserve, Critical
Watershed, Heritage Forest and any other categories meriting protection.”
6.4.2 The National Forest Policy, 2011 (Revision of Forest Policy 1974)
The National Forest Policy ensures that Bhutan’s forest resources and biodiversity are managed
sustainably to provide a wide range of social, economic and environmental benefits whilst
maintaining the constitutional requirement of a minimum of 60% under forest cover. Some of the
main features of the policy include a science-based participatory approach to forest governance
and sustainable forests management with emphasis on efficient and environment friendly
technologies for value addition and waste minimization.
6.4.3 The Land Act of Bhutan 2007
All tsamdro (grazing) and sokshing (the rights to use forest land for collection of leaf litter)
rights shall revert to SRF land and converted to leasehold uses. The leasehold shall be provided
to individuals or communities owning livestock, with preference being given to previous rights
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
31
holders in the case of tsamdro areas in rural areas. However, land categorized as sokshing where
there are no trees shall not be leased. The management of sokshing and tsamdro shall be carried
out in accordance with a management plan.
6.4.4 National Environment Protection Act (NEPA) 2007
Enhance provision for the establishment of an effective system to conserve and protect the
environment through the National Environment Commission or its successors, designation of
competent authorities and constitution of other advisory committees, to independently regulate
and promote sustainable development in an equitable manner. The Act calls for the conservation
of natural resources to be based on a participatory approach aimed at achieving an equitable
sharing of the costs and benefits of conservation among resources users. It also promotes the use
of clean energy and alternative technologies to reduce the use of fuelwood/timber from primary
forests. The Act also calls for the conservation and protection of wetlands, alpine regions,
watersheds, and other vulnerable ecosystems in addition to the existing protected areas.
6.4.5 Legal provisions
The following Chapters under the Forest and Nature Conservation Rules and Regulations of
Bhutan (2017/2020) has exclusive sections on zonation in protected areas;
Chapter III, Section (41): The Department may initiate the process of declaring a protected area,
in accordance with the regulations, by presenting a proposal and preliminary report to the
Ministry. An area may be designated as a PA if the Department determines that;
(1) any area is of biological significance to the country or the world at large;
(2) a specific habitat area is under threat, and its protection is of national interest; or
(3) an area is necessary for protection or conservation for hydrological or watershed
reasons;
(4) an area is of cultural or natural heritage significance.
Section 42: For each such area, the Ministry shall prepare and adopt necessary procedures for
designation of PA with the specification of core, multiple-use and buffer zones as per PA
zonation guidelines.
Chapter VII: Section 247: No wildlife may be taken from any core zone of the protected area.
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
32
Section 248: Taking of wildlife within any other zone of a protected area may be permitted only
in compliance with the conservation management plan.
Section 252: Fishing within a protected area shall be permitted with a valid permit obtained in
accordance with Technical Regulations.
Chapter XII, Section 393 Prohibited activities (1): felling in the core zone of the protected area
and critical watershed area. (3) quarrying and mining in protected area and in significant wet
land.
Section 394 Restricted activities (8) any construction or placing any permanent or temporary
structure, fence, marker or other device in watershed area and multiple-use zone. (23) taking of
any stray dog in the SRF/Protected Area.
Chapter XIII, Offences and Penalties, Fine and Compensation: Section 410 (i), (viii); 411(1), (2),
(3), (4), (8) and (21)
Offences in Protected area: Section 424 (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10), (11) and (12)
6.4.6 Regulations in different zones
Table 5. Activities allowed (√) or prohibited (×) in different zones and (x/√) may be allowed
depending on the condition of the resources
Activities
Zones
Remarks
Core
Transition
Multiple
use
Buffer
House construction,
settlements
×
x
Upon producing land
ownership or lease certificate
Herders' camp
×
x/√
Only in existing sites
Farm road
construction
×
x/√
Must obtain forestry clearance
and environmental clearance
with detail EIA report
Access road
construction
×
x/√
Must obtain forestry clearance
and environmental clearance
Industry
×
x
Must obtain forestry clearance
and EIA, only for park residents
Camping
×
In areas designated by the Park
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
33
Cultivation
×
x
Upon producing land
ownership or lease certificate
Gazing
×
Low impact grazing will be
allowed except in non-
negotiable core
Pasture
development/improve
ment
×
×
Only in areas where
communities have traditional
use rights, non-invasive species
Logging
×
×/
×/
×
Only small-scale logging may
be allowed in potential
multiple-use zones, must
involve park staff
Community forestry
×
×/
×/
As far as possible no CF in
buffer zones
Private Forest
×
×/
×/
Only upon clearance from the
park management in the buffer
zones. Encourage private forest
in the multiple zones. Restricted
to private registered land only.
Construction timber
×
×/
Based on stock availability and
management prescriptions
Firewood
×
×/
Based on stock availability and
management prescriptions
Cordyceps collection
Must adhere to collections
guidelines, strict patrolling and
monitoring
Medicinal plants
collection
×/
Must form collection groups
with management plans and by-
laws in line with NWFP
collection guideline
Other forests produce
collection (soil, stone,
×
×/
Must obtain permits
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
34
fodder, fruit,
mushroom, vegetable,
leaf-litter, dry-wood,
etc.)
Research
Only topical research identified
by the Department/ Park
Management
Habitat management
×/
Depending on the need and
research recommendation
Gaming
×
×/
×/
×
Upon producing a special
permit
Bird watching
×/
Must obtain permission from
the Park Management
6.5 Threats
As per the Management Effectiveness Tracking Tools Plus (METT+) exercise carried out in all
the ranges of JDNP and the recent socio-economic survey, the following threats appeared to be
affecting the park;
1. Residential and commercial development (housing and settlement development inside
the park).
2. Biological resource use and harm include; legal logging and timber harvesting,
livestock farming and grazing, human-wildlife conflict and collection of medicinal
plants.
3. Transportation and service corridor (the farm road construction and transmission
lines).
4. Pollution (waste management).
5. Human intrusion (ecotourism).
6. Stray dog issues.
7. The declining resource base of economically valuable species such as cordyceps,
Nardostachys grandiflora, Picrorhiza kurroa and Paris polyphylla, etc.
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
35
7. Conclusion
The zonation exercise in JDNP was very comprehensively carried out; the zones were mapped to
serve different functions such as protection (protection of vital activity centres for the animals,
important habitat of endemic and globally significant, rare, endangered and threatened, plant
species, conservation (allowing regulated use of resources without hampering the dependence of
wildlife) and management (regulated harvesting with scientific intervention). We involved the
park residents in the process through consultation by field staff while mapping the local multiple-
use areas (includes areas they depend on forest resources in their day-to-day life) either in groups
or with individuals. Additionally, we used the experiences of the field staff to gather and then to
map them.
All mapping is done using the state-of-the-art tool (ArcGIS) following the guidelines on
park zonation developed by NCD. The guidelines, in particular, gave us room to reduce the core
to almost its actual size required for wild animals particularly as activity centres and flora as
protected habitat for endangered/endemic plants. The additional zone (transition zone) allows us
in balancing the protection of wildlife habitat without pushing people’s dependence on natural
resources at bay, NWFPs, especially the cordyceps, Nardostachys grandiflora and Picrorhiza
kurroa are the main sources of livelihood for most highlanders. The dependence on forest
resources other than NWFPs is taken care of by the multiple-use zones. Within the multiple-use
zone, there is also sufficient provision to fit in local forest management areas but we did not
compromise if there had been places that are key activity centres for wildlife. The advancement
of human activity into transition and to core zones will be checked by the buffers provided
around the multiple-use zones.
Therefore, through this zoning we hope that in the future JDNP will be able to manage its
natural resources in a more systematic and just manner, thereby achieving the theme of the park
zonation “balancing conservation, development and livelihood in pursuit of Gross national
happiness”.
MANAGEMENT ZONES OF JIGME DORJI NATIONAL PARK
36
8. References
Dendup, P., Wangdi, L., Kuenzang, P., Jamtsho, Y., Gyeltshen, D., Rigzin, U., Jamtsho, Y.,
Tashi., Dorji, R., Jamtsho, Y. & Dorji, R. (2021). Bird diversity in Jigme Dorji National
Park: A Rapid Biodiversity Assessment Report. Department of Forest and Park Services,
Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. Royal Government of Bhutan. Damji: Gasa.
Jamtsho, Y., Dendup, P., Dorji, T., Dorji, R. & Dorji, R. (2021). Jigme Dorji National Park: A
wild felid biodiversity hotspot in Bhutan. CATnews(72). pp 30-34.
NCD 2019. Snow Leopard Action Plan for Bhutan (2018-2023): A Climate integrated Landscape
Approach to Snow Leopard Conservation. Nature Conservation Division, Department of
Forests and Park Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. Thimphu, Bhutan.
NCD 2020, Protected Area Zonation Guidelines of Bhutan. Nature Conservation Division,
Department of Forests and Park Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Thimphu,
Bhutan.
Thinley, P., Dagay, Leki, Namgyel, C., Dorji, T., Phuntsho and Dorji, P. (2014). Estimating
snow leopard (Panthera uncia) abundance and distribution in Jigme Dorji National Park
using camera traps: A technical report. Thimphu: KUENSEL Corporation Ltd
9. Bibliography
1. Guideline for zoning in protected areas in Bhutan
2. Conservation Management Plan of Jigme Dorji National Park (2015 2019)
3. Forest and Nature Conservation Rules and Regulations of Bhutan, 2017/20
4. National Forest Policy of Bhutan, 2011
5. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Bhutan, 2008
6. The Land Act of Bhutan, 2007
7. Zonation document of Sakten Wildlife Sanctuary
8. National Environment Protection Act (NEPA), 2007
9. The Biodiversity Act of Bhutan, 2003
10. Forest and Nature Conservation Act of Bhutan, 1995
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Chief Forestry Officer -Jigme Dorji National Park)
  • Rinzin Dorji
Rinzin Dorji (Chief Forestry Officer -Jigme Dorji National Park)
Chief Forestry Officer -Paro Forest Division)
  • Lhendup Tharchen
Lhendup Tharchen (Chief Forestry Officer -Paro Forest Division)
Sr Forest Officer -Forest Resources Management Division)
  • Phuntsho
Phuntsho (Sr Forest Officer -Forest Resources Management Division)
Management zones of Jigme Dorji National Park. Department of Forests and Park Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. Damji, Gasa, Bhutan. 1. Residential and commercial development (housing and settlement development inside the park)
JDNP (2021). Management zones of Jigme Dorji National Park. Department of Forests and Park Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. Damji, Gasa, Bhutan. 1. Residential and commercial development (housing and settlement development inside the park).
Estimating snow leopard (Panthera uncia) abundance and distribution in Jigme Dorji National Park using camera traps: A technical report
  • P Thinley
  • Dagay
  • Leki
  • C Namgyel
  • T Dorji
  • Phuntsho
  • P Dorji
Thinley, P., Dagay, Leki, Namgyel, C., Dorji, T., Phuntsho and Dorji, P. (2014). Estimating snow leopard (Panthera uncia) abundance and distribution in Jigme Dorji National Park using camera traps: A technical report. Thimphu: KUENSEL Corporation Ltd