A Haven For Wildlife – New Species Of Moth, Bird And Fish Found In Carbon-Negative Bhutan
These discoveries took the country’s moth count to 1,146, bird population to 739, and fish species to 23.
By Phub Gyem | BBS
A new moth, two birds and a fish species were recently recorded in Bhutan. These discoveries took the country’s moth count to 1,146, bird population to 739, and fish species to 23.
A wealth of flora and fauna reside in Bhutan
Bhutan is a haven for wildlife, it is endowed with a wealth of some 5,000 species of plants and over 200 species of animals.
The one-horned rhino is listed as a vulnerable species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red list.
The pristine nation is also home to the elusive snow leopard, one-horned rhinoceros and the critically endangered white-bellied heron.
More information about the newly discovered moth, bird and fish species
The moth species was discovered on 18 February 2019. It comes from the family of hawk moth and was found near a flyover bridge in Thimphu. This species is also found in north-western India.
Spanning a sub-tropical expanse of 269 km2, the Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary, located in the southern part of Bhutan, is the smallest of its national parks. It borders India from the Sunkosh River in the west to the Sanathang River in the east.
Photo: Travel Triangle
The two new bird species were found in the Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary - the Pin-tailed Parrotfinch and the Rusty-tailed flycatcher. The two birds were first sighted in 2018.
About the Pin-tailed Parrotfinch
Morphologically, the male Pin-tailed Parrotfinch has a grassy green back and wings, a bright blue mask over its face, cheek and forehead that extends down the throat.
It has a black bill, orange-yellow flanks under its tail coverts and long, bright red tail feathers.
The Pin-tailed Parrotfinch normally feeds in open areas such as paddy fields and lives in lowland forest amongst bamboo thickets, forest edges, and underbrush.
Source: Youtube/Amar-Singh HSS
This bird is a common species of the estrildid finch under the passeriformes order of the estrildidae family. It is also found in the Southeast Asian countries of Malaysia, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Burma and Thailand.
The Pin-tailed Parrotfinch was recently recorded in the southern Palawan province in the Philippines.
About the Rusty-tailed Flycatcher
The Rusty-tailed Flycatcher is a partially migratory and a small passerine bird mainly found in the northern region of the Indian subcontinents, that is, in northern and western India, Pakistan and Nepal. It is sometimes found in East India, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Photo: The Internet IPC Bird Collection
The rusty-tailed flycatcher is 14 cm (5.5 in) in length and weighs about 11–16 g. The bird has a rufous upper tail-covert, grey forehead and crown feathers. It has distinct dark eyes and a light grey beak.
About the striped dwarf catfish
The new fish species - the striped dwarf catfish, was also recorded in the Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary. It was first spotted in 2017 and consecutively in 2018 again in the Singye Stream, at an altitude of 213m above sea level.
The Striped dwarf catfish is a species of catfish from the Bagridae family. It lives in brackish water systems in lakes and swamps, with a mud substrate and little vegetation.
Photo: Facebook/Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary
The fish can also be found in other Asian countries such as: Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and probably Myanmar.
The population of this fish species is known to be decreasing in recent years due to fishing, pet trading and habitat destruction.
Constructive steps taken to safeguard Bhutan’s pristine environment
To ensure that Bhutan remains economically and environmentally sustainable, the government and the World Wildlife Fund have committed to create an innovative funding approach called ‘Bhutan for Life’.
On 11 December 2018, Her Majesty the Gyalyum Tshering Pem Wangchuck, the Co-Chair of the Bhutan Foundation handed over a cheque worth USD 520,000 to the Chairman of ‘Bhutan for Life’ and the agriculture secretary, Rinzin Dorji.
‘Bhutan for Life’ was initiated to improve the management of the country’s ‘Protected Areas’ and to ensure that at least 60% of the country remains under forest cover.
Photo: WWF Bhutan
The ‘Protected Areas’ in Bhutan include four national parks, four wildlife sanctuaries and one nature reserve.
As Bhutan has committed to its goal of remaining carbon neutral under the Paris Agreement, constructive steps have been taken by ‘Bhutan for Life’ to maintain this goal. It has supported the government in securing long term revenues and resources to safeguard the ‘Protected Areas’.
‘Bhutan for Life’ also encourages the optimal use of natural resources while enhancing the livelihoods of its people and the country’s unique biodiversity.
This article first appeared in BBS and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.