Breaking News

Zarkapla Village, an Oasis of Conservation and Eco-Tourism

โ€ฆ๐‘ซ๐’–๐’„๐’Œ ๐‘ด๐’–๐’”๐’”๐’†๐’๐’”, ๐‘ซ๐’†๐’๐’Š๐’„๐’‚๐’•๐’† ๐‘ฌ๐’„๐’๐’”๐’š๐’”๐’•๐’†๐’Ž๐’”, ๐’‚๐’๐’… ๐‘น๐’†๐’”๐’‘๐’๐’๐’”๐’Š๐’ƒ๐’๐’† ๐‘ป๐’๐’–๐’“๐’Š๐’”๐’Ž- ๐’„๐’๐’–๐’๐’•๐’“๐’š’๐’” ๐‘ท๐’Š๐’๐’๐’†๐’†๐’“๐’Š๐’๐’ˆ ๐‘จ๐’‘๐’‘๐’“๐’๐’‚๐’„๐’‰ ๐’•๐’ ๐‘ฏ๐’‚๐’“๐’Ž๐’๐’๐’š ๐’˜๐’Š๐’•๐’‰ ๐‘ต๐’‚๐’•๐’–๐’“๐’†

Ngawang Jamphel

Zarkapla Village, nestled in Bhutan’s Zhemgang Dzongkhag, stands out as a commendable model of sustainable conservation efforts and eco-tourism initiatives, focusing on safeguarding the rare duck mussel species. The scientific name for this freshwater mussel, an aquatic bivalve mollusk in the family Unionidae, is Anodonta anatina, also known as the river mussel.

Renowned for its biodiversity, Zarkapla Village serves as a sanctuary for eco-tourists. The village’s tranquil riverbanks and lush surroundings attract visitors eager to explore and engage with nature firsthand. The Anodonta Anatina species resides within sandy and muddy substrates, contributing to the delicate balance of the ecosystem.

Kinley Dorji, an entrepreneur operating an Eco Lodge in Panbang, emphasized, โ€œThe increasing demand for immersive nature experiences and educational programs is complemented by the value of guided tours and interactive exhibits, providing insights into freshwater ecosystems and the vital role of duck mussels in maintaining ecological harmony.โ€
โ€œLocal authorities and tourism agencies leverage the presence of duck mussels to enhance the tourism experience in Zarkapla Village. Interpretive centers, guided nature walks, and interactive exhibits serve as platforms for tourists to deepen their understanding of freshwater ecosystems’ interconnectedness,โ€ added Kinley.

As visitors become advocates for freshwater conservation, Zarkapla Village exemplifies Bhutan’s commitment to environmental stewardship and responsible tourism practices.

Zarkapla Village emphasizes the delicate balance between conservation and tourism promotion, showcasing Bhutan’s dedication to preserving its natural heritage while embracing sustainable development practices. By fostering collaborative partnerships and collective action, stakeholders are forging a path toward harmonious coexistence between humans and nature. Through education, awareness, and responsible tourism practices, Zarkapla Village aims to ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.

Dophu, a Zarkapla native, stated, โ€œThe changing dynamics within the village reveal that duck mussels have been integral to the local ecosystem for generations. However, their consumption has ceased due to conservation efforts. The rise in tourism, both locally and internationally, can be attributed to the allure of duck mussels and the unique biodiversity of Zarkapla.โ€

The habitats of these small creatures contribute to balancing the ecosystem of the locality. However, their survival is threatened by various factors, including habitat degradation, pollution, invasive species, and changes in water flow patterns.

To address these threats and safeguard the environment, local authorities and conservationists in Bhutan have collaborated in robust conservation efforts. Tshering Wangdi, a Range officer at Panbang, emphasizes the importance of habitat restoration initiatives and water quality monitoring programs. He stresses the need for collaborative efforts among stakeholders to mitigate the adverse impacts of human activities and ensure the long-term viability of duck mussel populations.

The conservation of duck mussels and their habitat in Zarkapla Village is not only vital for preserving biodiversity but also for promoting responsible tourism and environmental stewardship. Through concerted efforts and a shared commitment to sustainability, Bhutan is setting an example for the world in balancing conservation with the needs of local communities and tourists.

Leave a Reply