National Biodiversity Monitoring Protocol Drafted To Ensure That Bhutan’s Rich Biodiversity Thrives

Email

The development of the protocol is Bhutan's first attempt to put in place a proper biodiversity monitoring system at the national-level.

Chital Deer (Spotted Deers) seen at the Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan. (Source: Travel Triangle)

 

By Phub Gyem |BBS

Currently, Bhutan has a draft National Biodiversity Monitoring Protocol in place to monitor its wild biodiversity.

It is basically is a guide or manual that outlines the tools and methods needed to gather crucial information about plant and animal species, such as species diversity, habitat, threats and distribution patterns.

The development of the protocol is the first attempt to put in place a proper biodiversity monitoring system at the national-level.

How the protocol was developed

Initiated by the Nature Conservation Division, the biodiversity experts came together over the past few months to develop protocols for monitoring the plant, mammal, fish, reptile, amphibian, bird and insect species of Bhutan.

The protocol for different species were field tested and consolidated at a workshop in Gelephu recently. Some 45 forestry officials from across the country took part.

 

Source: WWF Bhutan

 

“We have very rich biodiversity and we do a lot of monitoring works in protected areas. For instance, we do a lot of biodiversity surveys during the management plan. But those are all surveys done in small pockets. We really don’t have a national-level data. With the help of the protocol, we will be able to get a systematic, coordinated and consolidated biodiversity data from across the country,” said Tandin, the Senior Forestry Officer of Nature Conservation Division under DoFPS.

The week-long workshop included rigorous field exercises, which involved visiting forests and rivers to record and identify plant and animal species.

Jigme Tshelthrim Wangyal, the Deputy Chief Forestry Officer of Jigme Khesar Strict Nature Reserve (JKSNR) in Haa, led the herpetofauna or reptile and amphibian group.

“For us, the herpetofauna group, we don’t even have a baseline data. With this protocol in place now, we are expecting a baseline data. Once we have the baseline data, we can work on it and see the changes over the years like whether the species are disappearing or becoming more,” he explained.

Studying climate change by monitoring reptiles and amphibians

According to Jigme Tshelthrim Wangyal, besides determining the status and tracking changes, biodiversity monitoring also helps us to understand threats to species and their responses. Moreover, reptiles and amphibians are also used to study climate change.

“Frogs and toads are very sensitive to temperature and humidity because they depend on water bodies to live. They can indicate whether the climate or temperature is changing. So, we can use them to study climate change.”

The draft protocol will be handed to the Department of Forests and Park Services (DoFPS) for review and approval.

 

Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary

Photo: Travel Triangle

 

“After approval, the protocol needs to be institutionalised so that Bhutan has an annual biodiversity monitoring program. In order to effectively implement the biodiversity monitoring protocol, we will incorporate it into the Individual Work Plan,” said Letro, the Senior Forestry Officer of the Nature Conservation Division. 

Why having a standard protocol alone is not enough?

While Bhutan is well known for its rich biodiversity, there is no standard monitoring protocol in place. The Nature Conservation Division’s effort to come up with a protocol, therefore, is critical to ensuring that the country’s wild biodiversity thrives.

However, the protocol alone is not enough. Regular wild biodiversity monitoring at the national level would entail a lot of costs. Capacity building of field staff, equipping forest divisions and park offices with the necessary equipment and infrastructure, such as a repository to store species specimen, is crucial to ensure the success of biodiversity monitoring.

The protocol was developed through the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) phase III project, initiated and implemented by the government. It is also supported by the UNDP and funded by the Global Environment Facility.

 

This article first appeared in BBS and has been edited for Daily Bhutan.

 


Related Posts

Haven For Flora And Fauna, Bhutan Is Host To More Than 11,000...

The biodiversity statistics of Bhutan 2017 is the first publication presenting accurate and up to date status of the...

May 25, 2019 15:58

Discover The Flora And Bird Species On The Tiger’s Nest...

The primary aim is to enable visitors to appreciate the beauty of Bhutan’s nature along one of Buddhism’s most sacred...

Dec 25, 2018 16:09

Endangered One-Horned Rhinoceros Spotted At Royal Manas National...

The one-horned rhinoceros was captured multiple times in a camera trap set up for tracking tigers.

Dec 16, 2018 12:33

First Junior Rangers Club Formed In Merak, Bhutan With An...

According to the park officials, the main aim of forming the junior rangers club is to educate and encourage the young...

Nov 03, 2018 15:32

Snow Leopards – Ghosts of the Mountains

Called “ghosts of the mountains” by the Himalayan people because of their ability to mysteriously appear and disappear...

Jan 17, 2018 10:30

A Rescue Shelter For Injured Animals Inside Bhutan’s Bumdeling...

The shelter was actually constructed as a ‘makeshift’ sanctuary to treat the growing number of injured animals,...

Dec 30, 2018 11:29

Latest

News

EU Supports Capacity Building To Improve Bhutan’s Export Diversification

Bhutanese products selected for export and market diversification are ginger, turmeric, mushrooms and yak dairy.

Nov 07, 2019 23:58

Bhutan’s Drukair Spread Its Wings To East Timor Via Singapore

The charter operation between Singapore and Dili is slated for a period of one year, with two chartered flights every week.

Oct 31, 2019 23:28

Features

Global Happiness Alliance Aims To Spread Concept Of Gross National Happiness Worldwide

The alliance seeks to enhance the understanding of GNH as a concept and to spread it all around the world.

Nov 08, 2019 23:08

Zoedue – Fermented Cheese Made By The Brokpas Of Sakteng Sees Increasing Demand

Zoedue has become a lucrative business in Sakteng ever since motor-road accessibility improved.

Nov 05, 2019 23:48

Sports

Bhutan’s Pelden Wangchuk Wins 10th Edition Of Tour 0f Dragon Mountain Bike Race

This year, the race also saw the highest number of female participants compared to past years.

Sep 10, 2019 01:08

Tour Of The Dragon – Toughest One Day Bike Race Starts On 7 September In Bhutan

It takes sheer toil and stamina for the top riders to complete the 268 km race which finishes at the capital, Thimphu.

Sep 06, 2019 23:58

Business

Gakyed Gatoen - Festival of Happiness Seeks To Promote Bhutan’s Products

The idea of the festival was to enable tourists and Bhutanese to learn about the traditional cottage industry.

Nov 01, 2019 23:28

Cottage & Small Industries Flagship Programme Rolled Out In Bhutan, Set To Create More Jobs

The CSI sector was identified as one the flagship programme in view of its greater socio-economic roles in Bhutan.

Oct 11, 2019 15:38

Travel

4th Edition Of Laya’s Royal Highland Festival Saw More Tourists And Participants

The Royal Highland Festival helps to preserve the age-old traditions of the highlanders.

Oct 28, 2019 23:38

Enchanting Kingdom Of Bhutan Scooped Lonely Planet’s World’s Best Tourist Destination In 2020

According to Lonely Planet, more and more travellers are advocating green travel while many are aware of the negative impact of...

Oct 24, 2019 23:58

Lifestyle

Bhutanese Textiles To Be Exhibited In Paris Trade Fair 2020

The exhibition is an initiative of the EU-Bhutan Trade Support project.

Nov 10, 2019 12:48

Launch Of Karen Greenspan’s Footfalls From The Land Of Happiness: A journey Into The Dances Of Bhutan

The book delves into familiar subjects that are what continues to shape Bhutan’s image.

Oct 05, 2019 10:18

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!

Download Daily Bhutan Mobile App

Connecting with us just got easier!