The National Biodiversity Centre (NBC) is pleased to announce the winners of the Bhutan Biodiversity Portal Top Observer Awards and the recent Wild River BioBlitz competition.
“We have two exceptional Bhutan Biodiversity Portal users and we wanted to acknowledge their contribution through the Top Observer Awards” said Mrs. Sangay Dema, Principal Biodiversity Officer at NBC.
The winners of the Bhutan Biodiversity Portal Top Observer awards are Mr. Tandin Wangchuk from Trashigang Forest Division who uploaded 2353 observations. Our second winner is Mr. Phuentsho from Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park (JSWNP) who uploaded 1982 observations.
Dasho Paljor J. Dorji, Advisor to the National Environment Commission, presented award certificates to the winners during International Biodiversity Day celebrations in Thimphu on 22 May 2018. As Mr. Tandin Wangchuk and Mr. Phuentsho are based in eastern and central Bhutan they accepted their awards via video.
Mr. Tandin Wangchuk said, “This award to me is something really special that will keep me motivated to go further with the interest I have in taxonomy.”
Mr. Phuentsho said, “Using the Bhutan Biodiversity Portal I was able to learn a lot about our biodiversity and I am very happy that I can contribute in my own small way so that it will benefit some researchers in the future. With the Bhutan Biodiversity Portal, I was even able to show some of my photos which are actually the first living images of the plants in the world,”
The Portal is a central online repository of information about Bhutan’s biodiversity. It is built through collective effort of data generators and users and is maintained by NBC. Both scientists and members of the public known as “citizen science” can use and contribute to the Portal.
“The Portal contains more than 57,000 observations of flora and fauna species from Bhutan. Nearly 13,000 of these observations were uploaded by users, including citizen science,” said Mr. Choki Gyeltshen, Senior Biodiversity Officer at NBC.
“Easy access to updated and comprehensive biodiversity information is fundamental for research, decision-making, policy advice and monitoring of the biodiversity status and the effectiveness of conservation measures,” added Mrs. Sangay Dema.
In April 2018, the NBC teamed up with WWF Bhutan to run the Wild River BioBlitz where the Portal users were encouraged to upload photographs of aquatic biodiversity.
“The response was overwhelming. The BioBlitz generated an impressive 1124 observations, compared with 131 observations during the same period last year. Our curators were kept extremely busy trying to confirm the identification of species observations,” said Mrs. Danielle Northey, Australian Volunteer with NBC.
The Wild River Champion Observer was Mr. Dorji Duba from JSWNP who submitted an impressive 405 observations in April.
“Just capturing the images of wildlife and storing them in your computer and camera is not enough. Share your findings and let your friends and people around the world see and learn about what they have never seen or come across before,” said Mr. Dorji Duba.
If you missed the Wild River BioBlitz, don’t worry as the NBC is running the Busy Butterfly BioBlitz throughout June.
“By entering the Busy Butterfly BioBlitz you can win great prizes, learn about Bhutan’s amazing butterflies and contribute to science,” said Mrs. Danielle Northey.
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