On the high bird diversity in the non-protected regions of Trashiyangtse District in Bhutan

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Lam Norbu
Phuntsho Thinley
Tandin Wangchuck
Ugyen Dechen
Lekey Dorji
Tshering Choephel
Pasang Dorji


Birds are ecological indicators of ecosystem health. Baseline information on bird diversity are, therefore, important for ecological monitoring. Such information is, however, sorely lacking for many areas outside the protected areas. Here, we explore the avian diversity and present a comprehensive checklist for the non-protected regions of Trashiyangtse District in northeastern Bhutan. We also categorise the bird species by their residency pattern, feeding guilds, abundance, and IUCN Red List status. We conducted an avifauna exploration for a period of four years from 2017 to 2020, mostly through opportunistic encounters coinciding with regular field visits. We recorded a total of 273 bird species belonging to 173 genera, 69 families and 19 orders. Passeriformes was the most dominant order with 41 families and 174 species and Muscicapidae was the most dominant family with 12 genera and 32 species. Most birds were altitudinal migrants (39%), insectivorous (45%), and occasional (44%) in terms of residency pattern, feeding guild, and abundance, respectively. Only one species (Ardea insignis) was listed as Critically Endangered and one (Haliaeetus leucoryphus) as Endangered. Our study identified the non-protected regions of Trashiyangtse District as an important bird diversity area in Bhutan. 

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