Conservation Efforts across Bhutan and India Borders centering Manas National Park

 Nature has no boundaries. The Transboundary Conservation of Manas  resemblance with this concept.The Trans-boundary Manas Conservation Area, or TraMCA, is the initiative towards conservation of Manas across borders between India and Bhutan. 

TraMCA with as areas of over 6500 square kilometers is one of the three transboundary landscapes across Eastern Himalayas that connect Bhutan and North Eastern India. This transboundary landscape, with unique biological significance, spans from the River Sonkosh , the western boundary of Ripu reserve forest in India to the Jomotsangkha Wild Life Sanctuary in Bhutan to the east. To the south, it extends to the  southern boundary of Manas Tiger Reserve in India and to the north, the northern extent of Royal Manas National Park (RMNP) in Bhutan. The area is one of the richest biodiversity zones in the entire tropical Asia. 

TraMCA Areas of India and Bhutan

The Manas National Park (MNP) in India and RMNP Bhutan forms the core of this extraordinary Transboundary Landscape which is located at the juncture of Indo-Gangetic and Indi-Malayan realms and is a key conservation area in Jigme Dorji-Manas-Bomdelling  conservation landscape in Eastern Himalayas eco-region.

Royal Manas National Park Bhutan

This unique landscape represents significant habitat diversity ranging from tropical grassland and wetlands, tropical semi-evergreen forests, the subtropical broad-leaved forest where altitude range from 97-2714 msl. The habitat continues to subalpine and alpine forests and then to glacial lakes and glaciers to snowcapped mountains at higher altitudes. The Manas river flows through RMNP and MNP making both parks a large track of highly significant watershed area. The combined complex is characterized by its rich and unique biodiversity as well as its spectacular scenic attributes created by the meandering rivers, forested hills, alluvial grasslands and tropical evergreen forests. The diversity of habitats supports diverse flora and fauna including endemic to the landscape.

Sunset at Indian Manas National Park
The landscape is the home of two endemic and globally threatened species - Golden Langur (Trachypithecus geei) and pigmy hog (Porcula salvania). The landscape further represents some of the last remaining habitats of Tiger, Clouded leopard (Neofelis nebulosa), Common Leopard (Panthera pardus), Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus), Asiatic water buffalo( Bubalis bubalus), Gaur (Bos gaurus) Greater one horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicronis), Bengal florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis) and white-bellied heron (Ardea insignis). 

A combined record of the two National Parks indicates the local species composition includes more than 65 species of mammals , over 500 species of birds and more than 1000 species of plants.

The significance of entire Manas Landscape as a single Transboundary entity is acknowledged globally by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre , Paris. As noted by the IUCN Technical Evaluation of Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (India)'s world heritage nomination in 1985:"The adjacent Manas WLS of Bhutan (44,300 ha) would provide an additional dimension to the site by adding habitat variety and encouraging more cooperation in a management of wildlife that migrates between both the reserves. When Bhutan becomes a state party to the convention , the addition of the area on their side of the border is highly recommended" . This recommendation for a transboundary entity for Manas has been reiterated by the World Heritage Committee over the years as well as during its meeting held in Paris in June 2011.

I hope the joint effort of India and Bhutan will help in conserving the biodiversity across the borders and preserve this beautiful part of the earth for our future generations.