Second international workshop to coordinate conservation of WBH held

IMG_20151201_1458461-4 Dec, 2015, Lobesa: A four-day international workshop with the theme ‘fostering international co-operation for conservation of critically endangered White-bellied heron’ is being held at Lobesa to redefine and agree the White-bellied Heron (WBH) conservation strategy in the WBH range countries such as Bhutan, China, India and Myanmar.

The workshop is aimed to review 2015’s activities and gain new information about WBH while also providing and sharing additional technical and background information to be integrated into WBH conservation strategies. The presentations on research, activities and new information were made by the international participants from range countries.

During the workshop, participants also redefined and obtained commitments to move towards formal adoption of species conservation strategy, in addition to identifying constraints to effective implementation, sharing knowledge and skills to collectively overcome these challenges.

IMG_20151201_154411The WBH working group was also developed which will become an effective body, serving the needs of WBH conservation and those of the range countries and other concerned organizations and individuals.

The threats to WBH was also discussed. According to the press release, threats such as overhead cables, dams, hunting or persecution, climate changes pose serious threats to the critically endangered bird. Hence, strategy such as head starting and genetic analysis was explored.

Hon’ble Health Minister, Lyonpo Tandin Wangchuk graced the opening on 1 December as chief guest which was also attended by Dasho Paljor J. Dorji, special advisor to NEC, Dzondags and Drangpons from Punakha and Wangdue with several other heads and representatives from national and international organizations and NGOs.

With first such workshop held in Assam last year, this is the second international workshop on conservation of WBH. The White-bellied Heron with only 200 individuals worldwide is considered critically endangered species. Bhutan has 28, one of the highest.

The workshop was organized by Wildlife Conservation Division, Department of Forest and Park Services with the support from Royal Society for Protection of Nature, Synchronicity Earth based in United Kingdom and IUCN Species Survival Commission White-bellied Heron Working Group.

Reported by: Ugyen Tshering, ICS in Lobesa  

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