2011 was a banner year for research on the critically endangered White-bellied heron (Ardea insignis). The year saw two important studies on the White-bellied heron (WBH): RSPN’s WBH capitive breeding program and Mr. Jigme Dorji’s BSc. research on the WBH’s habitat, and people’s perception towards its protection. At the international level, the White-bellied heron was enlisted in the Guinness Book of World Records as the Rarest Heron.
January 18, 2011 - The 8th Session of the National Assembly of Bhutan ratified the Ramsar Convention today after 1 hour 30 minutes discussion. Thirty six out of thirty six members of parliament present during the session voted to ratify the 12 articles of the Ramsar Convention. The Agriculture and Forests Minister, Lyonpo (Dr.) Pema Gyamtsho said that the decision is only going to further benefit the country in its effort to conserve wetlands in Bhutan.
09 January 2012: Khabertse, Letogshing -More than 45 black-necked Cranes were seen feeding in wetland paddy field in the morning of 09.01.2012 at lower Bayling in Trashiyangtse. This area is a popular non-roosting feeding area for the BNCs in Trashiyangtse.
12 January 2012 - The Royal Government of Bhutan has announced its decision to become a Member of IUCN. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forests has been designated by the Royal Government of Bhutan as its liaison with the IUCN Secretariat. IUCN extends its warmest welcome to the Kingdom of Bhutan.
On 10th January, 2012 during the 8th Parliament session of Bhutan, the government formally ratified Bhutan’s profile entry in the Ramsar Convention, a high level inter-governmental treaty on wetlands. The global environmental treaty recognizes three wetlands– Phobjikha, Khothokha and Bumdeling- all wintering grounds for Black-necked Cranes as potential Ramsar sites in the country.