Current distribution and conservation status of Bhutan Takin Budorcas whitei Lydekker, 1907 (Artiodactyla: Bovidae)

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Tiger Sangay
Rajanathan Rajaratnam
Karl Vernes


The Bhutan Takin Budorcas whitei Lydekker, 1907 is endemic to Bhutan and it is categorized as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. While the other Takin species have been studied in China (Golden Takin B. bedfordi; Sichuan Takin B. tibetana) and India (Mishmi Takin B. taxicolor), only one study has focused on the Bhutan Takin.  In this paper, we report the current distribution and conservation status of the Bhutan Takin using the information gathered through field surveys, interviews and unpublished reports.  Bhutan Takin are seasonal migrants, occurring between 1500–5550 m, preferring areas in close proximity to river valleys and geothermal outlets (hot springs).  Takin avoid areas that are disturbed by road construction and power transmission lines, and where they have to compete for forage with domestic livestock.  Takin conservation in Bhutan requires: (1) a commitment to reduce disturbances from domestic livestock through better herding and animal husbandry practices, (2) environmentally friendly road construction, inclusive of wildlife corridors, (3) establishment of satellite offices and regularizing anti-poaching patrol systems, (4) development of education programs to enlist support for Takin conservation, and (5) encouragement of more research on the ecology and management needs of the species.

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Author Biographies

Tiger Sangay, Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment Lamai Goempa, Bumthang Bhutan

Tiger Sangay is a PhD student at the University of New England (UNE), Australia, and works for the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment, Bhutan.  He is interested in large mammalian ecology and biodiversity conservation in the Himalayan region.

Rajanathan Rajaratnam, Geography and Planning, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia

Rajanathan Rajaratnam is a biogeographer at UNE, with research experience and interest in small carnivores, primates and biodiversity conservation within the agricultural landscape of Borneo, as well as research experience on mammals in Bhutan.

Karl Vernes, Ecosystem Management, University of New England, Armidale, NSW 2351, Australia

Karl Vernes is an Associate Professor in wildlife ecology and conservation at UNE, with research interests in mammal ecology and conservation.  He has worked on a diversity of mammals in Canada, Australia and Bhutan.



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