High hopes for the Mountain Tigers of Bhutan

Listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ since 1969 and despite over 4 decades of global conservation efforts, tigers continue to be threatened with extinction to this very day.  Human induced changes have reduced the tiger's historical range to about 7% of which a little more than 3800 tigers are estimated to be found. This problem is further exacerbated by the fact that an extensive segment of the Tigers' remaining habitat is situated in developing countries where these changes are happening at an extraordinary rate. Most of these individuals exist in small and highly structured populations. Tigers in Bhutan are a global priority for the species’ conservation. With more than 72% of the country under forest cover and 51.4 percent under protected areas, Bhutan is home to a staggering 103 tigers. Tigers are thriving in Bhutan and the population here is believed to have the highest probability of long-term persistence in the world. This can be attributed…

To Glacier National Park, US

A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune of visiting Glacier National Park in Montana. As a forester, most of the times, we leave one forest to enter into the next. But every single time, I am amazed to see the wonderful things nature has to offer.

Camera trap records of Asiatic golden cat at high altitudes in Bhutan

In 2015, a camera trapping exercise was carried out in the unexplored frontiers of eastern Bhutan. The study area covered parts of Wangchuck Centennial National Park, Phrumsengla National Park and Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary. The terrain is undulating, and elevations within the study area range from2,485 m to 4,958 m. In total, 100 grids were laid across the entire study area and at every camera trap station; two cameras (Reconyx HC500 Hyperfire “passive infra-red cameras”) were placed so as to capture both flanks of the animal that passes by. The cameras were
deployed from June to September 2015.

During the survey, a common morph of the Asiatic golden cat was recorded at a camera trap (27°42’56.6” N / 90°55’37.1” E) at an elevation of 4,282 m in the montane forests of Wangchuck Centennial National Park, the largest protected area in Bhutan. The animal was photographed walking along a game trail in a rhododendron scrub. This is thus far the highest recorded elevation at which Asiati…

New distribution record of the Bhutan Takin Budorcas taxicolor whitei Hodgson, 1850 (Cetartiodactyla: Bovidae) in Bhutan

For the first time, a Bhutan Takin Budorcas taxicolor whitei was camera trapped in the eastern part of Wangchuck Centennial National Park (27056’03.8’’E & 91004’53.7’’N) and is by thus far, the easternmost documented evidence of Takin presence in Bhutan. A lone individual was photographed at 3,898m in the upper mixed fir and rhododendron forest of Thomthom area in northeastern part of Lhuentse District, which also forms a part of the upper watersheds of Kurichu River (Image 1). The animal was found at about a few hundred metres away from a trail which is extensively used by the Bhutanese army for border patrols and also by forest officials for anti-poaching patrols. Other species which were recorded at the site included the Himalayan Black Bear Ursus thibetanus, Asiatic Golden Cat Catopuma temminckii and Blood Pheasant Ithaginis cruentus. Old signs of poaching such as remnants of traps made out of rhododendron branches were also observed in the nearby ridges. The camera trapping e…

In Bhutan, happiness is policy and tiger numbers are on the rise

The Kingdom of Bhutan, a Himalayan country about the size of Switzerland, could be taken as an example by many countries in the world. 70% of its land is still covered in forests. It is estimated that Bhutan forests sequestrate 3 times more carbon dioxide than the country emits. Close to 100% of its electricity is produced by hydropower. The Kingdom is also - and this is what interests us most - home to 103 tigers and counting. The latest survey carried out in 2014-2015 confirms that the tiger population has increased by more than a third from the previous population estimate. The surveywas conducted by the Bhutanese Department of Forests and Park Services, now ITHCP grantee.

These facts place Bhutan amongst the top sustainable countries in the world. This is no surprise as Bhutan's principles have been inscribed in policy through the gross national happiness index, based on equitable social development, cultural preservation, conservation of the environment and promotion of good …

A Thought

And as I lay by the bank of the mighty Manas river,
I could feel the cold water on my feet, the sun burning my skin, the breeze whispering summons I couldnt comprehend,
the sight of the unending span of forest running to the endless horizon
And a sincere but a heavy heart of metal surviving within me.
I could feel the five elements.
And then I knew at that hour,
That I am alive but at the same time dead
I knew,
That I am nothing but dust

My excursion to Bangladesh!!!