Bird diversity and distribution survey to begin in November

Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment (UWICE) will conduct a training which will focus on surveying bird diversity and distribution in the Himalayas around Yongkola, Mongar in November.

The training will emphasize study design, field data collection, statistical analyses and interpretation, and effective communication of results.

Explaining the reason why the training will take place in Yongkola, a researcher with UWICE, Sherub said it was because the place was rich in bird diversity and it was also considered best bird watching place for the tourists.

“It is for the first time such training is being organized on the field to document bird biodiversity and around this time (November) congregation of birds, they would by this time of month have moved down,” Sherub said.

“It’s a long time training process and there will be series of such events on different themes and next it will be on plants and the participants will be in-service from the department of forest. We will be taking about 20 participants who will be given DSA,” he added.

Further, Sherub also mentioned that in the long run, such trainings will be connected to climate change by studying the habitat of the birds and such trainings will be conducted repeatedly. He added, “If we do the data collection over many years, we will be able to detect change in

bird species diversity, their population trend and then connect to climate change scenario and able to infer habitat change and threat.”

This training series will teach theoretical and practical approaches to monitoring biodiversity in terrestrial and aquatic habitats of mountain ecosystems. Field practical will focus on bird identification, mist netting, occupancy surveys, point counts, and distance sampling.

The 12-day practical training on biodiversity monitoring relevant to mountain ecosystems, will impart knowledge and experience for implementing scientifically credible monitoring programs in the Himalayan region.

Participants will be able to design and implement surveys for measuring bird biodiversity and species distribution by the end of the training.

The training on Measuring and Monitoring Mountain Biodiversity (M3B) will be conducted by Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment, Lamai Goempa, Bumthang and will begin on November 18.

Records say that there are about 688 different kinds of bird species in Bhutan while the foreign experts estimate the number to be about 770 birds based on the regional bird diversities.

The 12-days training will be funded by the government.

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