Bhutan is a landlocked country situated in the Himalayas between China and India. The terrain is mostly mountainous with some fertile valleys. The southern border with India is at an elevation of a few hundred feet only. The northern border with China (Tibet) is at a height of over twenty thousand feet. The climate varies between tropical in the southern plains to cool winters and hot summers in the central valleys, and severe winters and cool summers in the high Himalayas.
Bhutan, in a recent assessment, has an estimated 80.89% of the country covered with forests (70.46%, excluding scrubs and shrubs). The huge contiguous tract of forests stretches within the narrow band of about 175 km., and harbours more than 5,603 species of vascular plants, 369 species of orchids and 46 species of rhododendrons, over 90 species of mushrooms including Matsutake, 300 species of medicinal and aromatic plants including 105 endemic species. Bhutan is also known to have 10 big and small cat species, and four colour morphs of Asiatic Golden cats. Decrease in species across its natural range poses a serious concern to Bhutan. The escalating trans-boundary trade of illegal wildlife products is a billion dollar business and such illegal trade has expanded with technological advancement.