New Frog And Waterbird Species Discovered In Bhutan

Email

The discoveries take the number of water bird species in Bhutan to 81 and the amphibian species to 57.

The Leptobrachium bompu frog and the Common Golden Eye are newly discovered species in Bhutan. (Source: BBS)

 

By Phub GyemBBS

The Common Golden Eye, a new water bird species was spotted in Bhutan on 5 January this year. This takes the number of water bird species to 81 as per the annual census carried out on 21 January.  

The lone female Common Golden Eye was sighted along the Punatsangchhu at Bajo in Wangdue Phodrang. It was first spotted by Sangay Nidup, a forester at the Wangdue territorial division.

The bird which has prominent golden eyes, measures around 50 cm in height and weighs about 900 g. It is categorised as ‘least concern’ as this bird shows no sign of decline or threat to its population.

The bird is usually found in Canada, Northern Europe, and the Siberian Plains in Russia. It is rarely sighted in the Indian Subcontinent.

 

 Source: Youtube/Weird Square

 

The Chief Research Officer with the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environmental Research (UWICER) Sherub said that the sighting is an indication of the country’s sound conservation policies and well-protected habitats for a diverse species of flora and fauna to thrive. This shows that Bhutan is a safe haven for migratory birds.

Where are the annual water bird census being carried out?

The UWICER carries out the water bird census every year to obtain information on the population of water birds along Bhutan’s rivers and wetlands.

The annual water bird census saw more than 60 species of water birds along the Punatsangchhu.

The annual census was also being carried out along the Thimchhu, Paachhu, Punatsangchhu, Mangdechhu, Chamkharchhu, Drangmechhu, Kulongchhu, Jomochhu, Neyra Amachhu, Maochhu, Amochhu, Puglichhu, Haachhu, and along the natural wetlands of Phobjikha and Khotokha.

The annual census record shows that the Ruddy Shelduck is the most common water bird in the country. In fact, Bhutan has as many as 1,800 Ruddy shelducks, which are found mostly along the Punatsangchhu.

 

The Ruddy Shelduck.

Photo: Oriental Bird Images

 

The information serves as a basis for the evaluation of migratory sites as well as to monitor the population of water birds.

Water birds are believed to contribute to nutrient recycling and the maintenance of a fresh water eco-system.

These birds also help in seed dispersal on a continental scale and provide consumers with meat, feathers and eggs. Besides that, they are also found to be of aesthetic value and can be a source of tourist attraction.

A new frog species discovered in Bhutan

A new frog species called Leptobrachium bompu, which belongs to the class of Eastern Spadefoot Toad was recorded in Sarpang. This takes the amphibian species in Bhutan to 57.

The record was published in the ‘Journal of Threatened Taxa’ this year. It is an International Journal for the publication of research, findings and reviews related to the conservation and taxonomy of the flora, fauna and fungi in Bhutan.

 

Map: The Journal of Threatened Taxa/26 February 2019 Vol. 11 No. 3 

 

The frog was spotted at the Pakhola at Jigmecholing in Sarpang in 2015, at an altitude of 1,610 metres above sea level.

Pakhola is one of the primary tributaries of the Simkhar River. The watershed is known to host amphibians due to the presence of natural lakes and swampy areas. The area is also a habitat for other frog species.

Jigme Tenzin, the forester who discovered the bompu, revealed that out of the 1.42 km long Pakhola stream, the frog was recorded only at one spot. This indicates the rarity of its population.

Jigme Tenzin, along with his colleague Jigme Tshelthrim Wangyal carried out the study on the new frog to help understand the range and conservation status of the species.

He also mentioned that if research activities are extended to other districts of Bhutan, there is a higher chance of discovering new species.

Traits of the Leptobrachium Bompu

This new species has has a distinctive eye colour – blue with vertical iris. It has noticeably wrinkled skins, which differentiates it from other species.

 

Photo: Jigme Tenzin/The Journal of Threatened Taxa 26 February 2019 Vol. 11 No. 3

 

The Leptobrachium Bompu draws its name from a campsite called Bampu in Arunachal Pradesh where it was first discovered. It is also found in Gelin village and Buqiong Lake in China.

The study suggests that the frog probably prefers moss-laden rocks for hiding, damp and swampy areas for sustenance, and slow-flowing hill streams for breeding and reproduction.

The species is relatively new to science, hence there is a lack of adequate information on its significance to the eco-system.

Owing to the rarity of this species, a separate study on its abundance, distribution patterns, and conservation threats will be carried out for its conservation.

 

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

 


Related Posts

A Haven For Wildlife – New Species Of Moth, Bird And Fish Found...

These discoveries took the country’s moth count to 1,146, bird population to 739, and fish species to 23.

Feb 26, 2019 18:32

In Land-Locked Bhutan, Five New Species Of Fish Have Been...

The five new species were discovered using morphometric and molecular studies.

Sep 27, 2018 17:23

New Species of Orchid Named After Her Majesty The Gyaltsuen

The new species Spathoglottis Jetsuniae, is a striking terrestrial orchid, first discovered accidently by the staff of...

Jan 26, 2018 07:30

Sightings Of Red Pandas In Bhutan Have Decreased In Recent Years

Given the red colour of the animal, Bhutanese believe that red pandas were the reincarnation of monks and encountering...

May 04, 2018 01:10

Sightings Of White Bellied Herons Declining In Bhutan

The White Bellied Herons are secretive birds, often intolerant of close proximity to humans.

Dec 05, 2018 22:03

Three Black-Necked Cranes In Bhutan Tagged With GPS Transmitters...

The data collected, officials say, will be invaluable for the protection of this endangered species.

Feb 10, 2019 19:11

Latest

News

Conference On Biodemocracy - Balancing Political And Ecological Democracy Held In Bhutan

The conference helped to deepen democracy through discussions on harmonious coexistence.

Jul 20, 2019 19:38

Government Of Bhutan Injects Nu 1 Billion To Kick-start Organic Flagship Programme

To export a product as an organic, it will be certified only after proper laboratory tests have been conducted.

Jul 12, 2019 21:48

Features

Suhas Gopinath - World’s Youngest CEO Gave An Inspiring Talk On Innovation & Technology In Bhutan

“Technology is a means of survival in the competitive modern world with modern problems,” said Suhas Gopinath.

Jul 22, 2019 23:58

Inspired By His Majesty The King, The Reading Retreat Aims To Inculcate Reading Habits Among Bhutan’s Youth

The upcoming reading retreat, which is scheduled from July 21 – 27, is expected to attract 268 students from schools across Bhutan.

Jul 16, 2019 23:58

Sports

Bhutan’s Dragon Boys Starts FIFA World Cup Qualifiers With A 1-0 Win Over Guam

Midfielder, Tshering Dorji’s 35th minute strike was enough to make Bhutan win the first leg of the first round of the 2022 World Cup and...

Jun 08, 2019 22:18

Meet Choki Om – First Woman From Bhutan To Become A FIFA Referee

Originally from the district of Wangdue, Choki has already been a referee for over a decade.

May 16, 2019 20:58

Business

Celebrating Bhutan's Entrepreneurs: Kuenga Dendup & Pema C. Gyaltshen Of Kingdom Essenses

This story is part of an exclusive feature by Yeewong Magazine in Dec 2018 on celebrating entrepreneurship in Bhutan.

Jul 21, 2019 20:48

Bhutan Economic Forum for Innovative Transformation Conference Held To Boost Cottage & Small Industries

The Bhutan Economic Forum for Innovative Transformation Conference was held from 16-18 July in Thimphu.

Jul 18, 2019 22:32

Travel

Bhutan Has Great Potential To Be A Top Eco-Tourism Spot: Albert Teo

Despite Bhutan being home to a wide array of flora and fauna, it is still not a top ecotourism destination.

Jul 19, 2019 23:58

Ride Up Bhutan’s Legendary Tiger’s Nest Monastery And Enjoy The Scenic Trail On Horseback

Pony services to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery is expected to be more organised come next month.

Jul 17, 2019 21:28

Lifestyle

French Designer Christian Louboutin Releases Bhutan-inspired Shoe Collection

Bhutan’s rich craftsmanship inspired the designer’s latest collection.

Jul 06, 2019 08:53

An Exciting Line-Up Of Speakers To Be Featured In Bhutan’s Mountain Echoes Festival 2019

Themed ‘Many Lives, Many Stories’ - the festival, according to the press release, will mark its 10th anniversary with modern Bhutanese...

Jun 25, 2019 21:28

Subscribe to our newsletter

Never miss out on new happenings and news stories!