25-29 March, Phuntsholing: The Nature Conservation Division (NCD) of the Department of Forests & Park Services conducted a weeklong Training workshop on Vegetation Data Analysis. The main objective of the workshop was to give hands on training to analyze the data to the participants of the Paphiopedilum species range Parks and Divisions, who were actually engaged in nationwide field survey on the species popularly known as the Himalayan Lady Slipper Orchid.
The Training workshop was mainly focused on Data analysis on Paphiopedilum habitat using the PCORD software and further the participants were introduced to the Survey Methodology, Plot layout, Data collection and Species Identification.
An attempt has been made to study its occurrence in Bhutan by few orchid enthusiasts however, still there is still a need to carry out survey and census of this species to assess the habitat type, usually found along the lime stone belts of lesser Himalayan ranges along the southern foothills of Bhutan. With emerging socio economic development in the country since 1961, the country is facing so many challenges to conserve this critically endangered species. Bhutan is said to be the last bastion to conserve this species in natural habitat before its introduction to the European gardens, regarded as highly prized ornamental species until today. The loss of such genetic resources would be shameful, due to lack of constant monitoring, poaching and trading across the boarder that was reported in late 1960’s from many places in Bhutan. The depletion, fragmentation and degradation of the habitat are further aggravated by the constructions of farm roads in the country. Despite so many challenges, there is an ample of scope and opportunities to conserve this charismatic floral species in the region. The in-situ conservation of this species in Bhutan will strengthen the genetic security with our neighbors India and Nepal at the landscape level. Therefore, a nationwide survey would enable the conservation partners to identify and locate all the potential habitats in Bhutan for all possible conservation measures.
Ngawang Gyeltshen of NCD facilitated the Training workshop in collaboration with Kelzang Tobgay of National Biodiversity Centre, with financial support from RGoB and KLCDI Bhutan Program. The Training workshop was concluded by awarding the certificate to the 20 participants by the Ex-Specialist Sonam Tshering, who served under the DoFPS and NBC.
-Nature Conservation Division
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