Most butterfly species, however, are found in tropical areas, especially tropical rainforests. Many butterflies migrate in order to avoid adverse environmental conditions (like cold weather). Butterfly migration is not well understood.
There are 800 to 900 suspected butterfly species in Bhutan, an exceptionally high number for a small country. Such a degree of biodiversity is attributable to the wide range of habitats found in the mountainous terrain together with the people's strong culture of stewardship. In this small selection, just 1 or 2 species from most families are illustrated.
Most butterflies are beautiful and a few such as the Bhutan Glory and the Kaiser-I-Hind are internationally protected by the Convention on the Inernational Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), to which Bhutan is signatory. These very rare butterflies are not included in this booklet since they are rarely seen. Some butterfly species fly at 5000m while others prefer the lower valleys, some like grasslands, others forests, some prefer hot and dry, others cool and humid areas. Butterflies are excellent indicators of environmental conditions. When habitats are destroyed, butterflies are among the first species to disappear, often because their host plants disappear.
800 to 900 species is a huge number for a small country such as Bhutan. There are more butterfly species in Bhutan than in the whole of North America (679 species) or of Europe (440 species). The incredible range of habitats present in Bhutan, from subtropical in the south to alpine in the north presents a vast array of habitat niches for butterflies. Also, both Palaearctic and Indo-Malayan species are found in Bhutan. The largest number of butterflies is found in the subtropical zone, but an amazing number can be found at midelevations and in the mountains even at elevations above 5000m. The hardy high-altitude butterflies fly only during the summer.
Adventure Silk Road employees the guides who are knowledgeable on the butterfly species flying around the country. Our nature guides will escort you - a keen butterfly watcher or amateur enthusiast alike to search for these beautiful insects. You have the chance to enjoy not only the butterflies of the top Asian butterfly habitats, but also those further afield, as well as an opportunity to enjoy other wildlife in selective areas of Bhutan.