Pristine Environment, Bhutan

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Plant Destruction

Another problem associated with tourist activity in the Himalayan region is the collection of flowers and plants.The Eastern Himalayas  have been identified as one of the worlds 25 biodiversity hot-spots. Therefore,many plants and flowers such as orchids, rhododendrons,   blue poppies and many more  live there.The Himalayas is home for an estimated 10,000     plant species. But unfortunately many visitors are so intrigued with the vast array of          beautiful species of plants and flowers that they pluck as many  as possible out of             fascination or for scientific collection and study. Likewise, tourist often return with          bunches of endangered plants and flowers in their hands. Sometimes tourist are seen         burning Juniperus bush as it  easily catches fire while still green and serves as a source of   amusement to playful tourists.Experts say that Juniperus plant is a very slow growing plant and takes ages to reach adults size. 
Bhutan National Flowe Blue Poppy
Blue poppies. the national flower of Bhutan, that once grew in abundance at the Chelela pass in Paro has been severely depleted in recent years according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature. According to the society there were about 150 blue poppies in the 1990s. In 2000, the number had dwindled to 20 and to 11 in 2002.

Furthermore, millions of tourist visit the Himalayan region for pilgrimage each year, and they consider some plants and flowers holy, and use in various religious rituals. For instance, pilgrims burn the  leaves of pine, juniper,hemlock and other flowers as an  offering for  gods.In addition,  plants such as Chimonobambusa and Thomnocalamus  are also being        extensively depleted from their natural habitats since they are used extensively in crafts     made for tourists. The rising numbers of tourists in the Himalayas is resulting in dwindling amounts of indigenous plant life. But I'm at least happy that science is helping to save Himalayan plants.
 

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