Following the historic event of St. Petersburgh, where the Governments of TRCs and Conservation partners came together to pledge support for doubling the remaining tiger population by the year 2022, the Governments of Range Countries thereafter celebrate July 29 of every year as the Global Tiger Day. This symbolic gesture among the range countries acknowledge that the Tiger is one of the most important indicators of a healthy ecosystem, and failure to reverse declining population trends will result in not only the loss of Tigers, but also a loss of biological diversity throughout Asia, together with tangible and intangible benefits provided by these magnificent cats and the ecosystems they inhabit.
Recognizing the importance of tiger in Bhutan, like in the past, the Department of Forests & Park Services under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests will be celebrating this year’s tiger day with the theme “Empowering Local Communities for Tiger Conservation” at Norbuling Middle Secondary School, which is located in the buffer zone of Royal Manas National Park, a place also considered to be a hotspot for wild felids particularly the tiger. Tigers in Bhutan have strong affiliation and revolve very closely around the daily lives of the Bhutanese. Some of the common lore on Bhutanese tiger is that the Buddhist saint and teacher, Guru Rinpoche brought Buddhism to Bhutan riding on the back of a flying tigress at Taktsang, and several paintings and scrolls in religious centre show tiger as one of the four protector animals in the “Tag Seng Chung Druk” quartet (the other three animals being the mythical Snow Lion, Garuda and Dragon) thereby indicating great reverence of this species in Bhutanese society. Ecologically, it stands at the top of the food chain, and its presence in the Bhutanese forest symbolizes the well-being of many other species living with it including their function to control the population of ungulates like serow, sambhar, barking deer, wild pig and even few primates, otherwise leading to catastrophic events among the Bhutanese farmers.
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