Nature Study Sub-Centre

A Nature Study Sub-Centre (NSSC) is located at Khebeythang under Phobji Geog, and northwest of Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park. It falls between latitude and longitude of 27°22’54.66” (N) and 90°11’27.59” (E) and at a mean elevation of 2500 m asl (meter above sea level). The centre was formally inaugurated on November 11, 1996 to create enabling environment for both national and international nature lovers and researchers.

The landscape in the milieu of the center comprises mostly of conifer species such as Fir ( Abies densa), Hemlock (Tsuga dumosa), Spruce (Spicea spinolosa), Blue Pine (Pinus williachina) mixed with high-altitude broadleaved species such like Birch (Betula spp.) Maple (Acer spp.) Rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.). These landscapes are safe homes for many endangered mammals and bird species like Tiger (Panthera tigris), Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens) and Black Necked Crane (Grus nigricollis). Situated at the confluence of two rivers (Phobji and Khebeychu), the area is rich in aquatic diversity. The abundance of flora and fauna, fresh water and diverse habitats, nurtured by the complex social interaction of the highlanders in these areas provides an ideal opportune for various studies on environmental interests.

The Nature Study Sub-Center is a conservation research sub-center under Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research which strives to:

  • Serve as a hub for high altitude floral and faunal studies, and
  • Conduct long-term monitoring of snow leopards and other important high-altitude fauna.

In addition to conducting research, the center plans to deliver trainings on forest and wildlife management practical modules to certificate students and other tailor-made courses in forestry, conservation and environment. The center will facilitate field studies for students and researchers of Royal University of Bhutan and international institutions who are interested to make scientific inquiries to better understand the nature and environment.  The center envisions to organize myriad of conservation and environmental education programs concerning nature especially to school students. Besides, the center anticipates to conduct other capacity development programs:

  • Capacity building for Village Forest Guards on Community level Wildlife Conservation.
  • Safe and smart high altitude anti-poaching techniques for frontline field staffs of field division of the department (park and territorials).
  • Young Scientist Program for school children.
  • Community-based conservation outreach programs.

Nature Study Sub-Centre is equipped with basic facilities designed to suit the needs of all the researchers and the students alike, spacious classrooms, meeting hall, 42 bedded hostels with attached bathrooms, kitchen and dining, researcher quarters to host both the researchers and the students. The open meadows and wilderness space near riverbank and forest provide a splendid alternative for the staunch nature lover to camp out.

The center was constructed in early nineties with the financial support from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Bhutan Program and refurnished the center with the financial support from Bhutan Foundation after amalgamating its management with the UWICER.