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19 March 2016

Conservation of the Black-necked Crane and the Critically Endangered White-bellied Heron in Bhutan

Upper : Black-necked Crane (黑頸鶴)
Lower : White-bellied Heron (
Bhutan (2015)

14th December, 2014. Thimphu

The Royal Society of Protection of Nature has been involved in the White-bellied Heron conservation project since 2003. Over the years much has been understood about their status, potential threats and conservation options in Bhutan.

As a critically endangered species in the world, it is very important to protect it and its natural habitat. The initiative has helped establish two important WBH habitat areas in Bhutan: 1) Punatsangchu basin, Wangduephodrang Dzongkhag and 2) Berti, Zhemgang Dzongkhag.

At present there are 4 individuals in Berti and 26 in Punatsangchu basin. With 30 individuals of this species in their natural habitat, Bhutan plays a pioneering role in protecting the critically endangered white-bellied heron. Although RSPN has initiated study on its ecology and breeding behavior, the rapid pace of development activities calls for immediate interventions that could provide quicker options for the survival of the bird. Captive breeding could be an immediate option to balance conservation and development by ensuring survival of the species and continuation of developmental activities - the “Middle Path” national development approach.

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