The three climatic zones of the foothills, central Himalayan valleys and the high Himalayas makes Bhutan’s natural heritage more rich and varied than other Himalayan regions. In historical records, the kingdom is referred to as the “Southern Valley of Medicinal Herbs”, a name that still applies to this day. The country’s flora consists of over 7000 species of plants, including the rare Blue Poppy which is also the national flower. Bhutan also has a reputation for being a birdwatcher’s paradise with over 675 species of birds including the endangered Black-Necked crane. Because of the deep traditional reverence, which the Bhutanese have for nature, the kingdom is one of the leading countries in environmental conservation. Over 70% of Bhutan’s land area is still under forest cover. Many parts of the country have been declared wildlife reserves, and are the natural habitats of rare species of both flora and fauna.