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  • Bhutan is home to 96 snow leopards, nationwide survey revealed

    snow-leopard-captured-for-first-time-at-jksnr

    25 October 2016, Thimphu: There are atleast 96 snow leopards roaming within the alpine regions of our country within the altitude range from 3920m to 6930m. There are atleast 31 in Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP), 17 in Wangchuck Centennial National Park (WCNP), 9 in Jigme Khesar Strict Nature Reserve (JKSNR) and 6 in Paro Division with few more individuals in other areas, revealed a nationwide survey carried out a team of national professionals from Department of Forest and Park Services. The finding was revealed during the celebration of fourth International Snow Leopard Day on Sunday, 23rd October 2016 at Centenary Park, Thimphu.

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  • World Food Day celebrated at Laya

    a50x0580October 16, Gasa: The World Food Day this year was celebrated at Laya, Gasa coinciding with the Royal Highland Festival 2016 organised by Gasa Dzongkhag and Department of Livestock.

    Hon’ble Dr. Sonam Kinga, National Council chairperson inagurated the event. Present also were Hon’ble Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji; Minister for Ministry of agriculture and Forests, Hon’ble Lyonpo Damcho Dorji; Minister for Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, Farmers, students, tourists and other dignitaries.

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  • First Royal Highland Festival at Laya

    a50x0894October 16-18, Gasa. His Majesty The King attended the first Royal Highland Festival (RHF) held in Langothang, Laya at 4000 metres above sea level. The three days festival provided a platform to convene and interact amongst stakeholders of Highland development to gain better insight of the problems and opportunities at the ground level and to assess potentials of capitalising on technologies to address challenges and to enhance farming efficiencies to revive tradition and culture that are long lost or on the verge of losing. It also provided opportunities to update or formulate enabling policies and guidelines to facilitate highlanders to evolve and coexist with other communities in Bhutan.

    The RHF exhibited activities relevant to highlanders in general and transhumant herders in specific. Broadly three thematic areas of Highlander’s Livelihood, culture and livestock technologies were covered.

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  • Launch of sustainable rangeland management project to protect red pandas and herder livelihoods in Merak

    picture1On Sunday 23 October 2016, the Regional Livestock Development Centre, Khangma and Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary, Phongmey in conjunction with the Merak herder community launched a new project at Merak village. The project objective is to improve herder livelihoods, rangeland management and red panda habitat in winter grazing areas of Cheabuling and Sheytemi, Merak Geog. The chief guest was Dasho Sherab Zangpo of Sakteng Dungkhag. Other local guests included the newly elected Gup and Mangmi of Merak, and Regional heads of Trashigang Department of Livestock, and Merak school principal. Overseas guests included Dr Joanne Millar and Dr Karma Tenzing from Charles Sturt University, Australia.

    The project is funded by The Darwin Initiative Fund, UK and will run from 2016 to 2019.

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  • Bhutan is first among the Governments of Snow Leopard Range Countries to conduct the first national level camera trap survey of Snow Leopard

    23 October 2016, Thimphu: On the fourth International Snow Leopard Day, Bhutan joins other global communities to celebrate this important day and proudly declares an estimated 96 individuals to be found across the mountainous terrain of Northern Bhutan. Bhutan might be the only unique place where this species thrive in shared landscape with the nomadic herders.

    The nationwide survey was completed by a team of national staff from Department of Forest and Park Services over a period of almost two years commencing August 2015, initally, with the sign and prey base survey followed closely by the camera trap survey. About 147 forest staffs were involved in the survey, hiking for months through some of the country’s highest, steepest and remotest mountain ranges to confirm the presence of the elusive and endangered cat commonly known as the “Ghost of High Mountains”. They conducted systematic surveys of tracks as well as installing camera traps in 223 locations.

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