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Few studies on BNCs using satellite transmitters have been conducted so far. One by the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology/Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Research in the western wintering sites (Phobjikha Valley) and one by the International Crane Foundation (ICF) in the eastern wintering sites (Bumdeling). Two cranes were tagged with Satellite transmitters in 1998 at Bumdeling, Bhutan and found that the cranes migrated to Xigatse and then to Xainza in Tibetan Autonomous region (RSPN, 2006). The tagging was done by RSPN and ICF. Four cranes were tagged with satellite transmitters in 2006 and reported that all of them flew to Phari and neighboring areas in Tibet autonomous region (RSPN, 2006). However, in total only six cranes were tagged by satellite transmitters (two in Bomdeling, four in Phobjikha Valley), so the information is very poor. The results indicated that there are several migration routes. Lhendup & Webb (2009) reported also more than two migration routes.


The project aims to contribute to research and conservation of the Black-necked Cranes in Bhutan. In particular the project will have the following specific objectives:

  1. Improve knowledge on migratory routes of Black-necked Cranes wintering in Bhutan and Identification of (potential) threats during migration
  2. Determination of breeding sites of Black-necked Cranes overwintering in Bhutan
  3. Analyzing habitat use of Black-necked Cranes in wintering sites in Bhutan
    à identification of important feeding and roosting sites during wintering in order to create action and management plans to increase winter survival of Black-necked Cranes in Bhutan
  4. Strengthen local capacities in crane monitoring and development of material for the public to enhance awareness for Black-necked Cranes
  5. Support transboundary cooperation in crane conservation and establish communication linkage amongst the range countries for conservation of Black-necked Cranes 




The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, (BMU)



Given the current scenario of supporting Black-necked Crane conservation program in the country through project tied funding, RSPN wishes to establish an endowment fund which would ensure the sustainability of the conservation program and long term impact. To constantly carry out the conservation work for BNC and their habitat, RSPN has developed a 5 year action plan in consultation with all the stakeholders. This would require an estimated amount of US $ 100,000 annually, and can only be possible with an endowment fund of US $ 2 million at 5% annual investment interest. So far, we have raised US $ 30,000 through individual and institutional donors.

At RSPN, we believe a single grain of sand can tip the scale. You can be the grain that tips the scale towards improved environmental conditions and conservation efforts in Bhutan. RSPN has set a target to raise US$ 1.5 million for next 10 years.