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Bhutan Biodiversity Project

Generating knowledge on invertebrates for the Bhutanese society – a cooperation of Bhutanese and Dutch experts

The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is rich in biodiversity and is unique due to its well-preserved landscapes ranging from lowland rainforest to high alpine habitats. The birds and mammals of Bhutan are well studied but information on invertebrates is limited. The Bhutanese-Dutch cooperation aims to make information on this forgotten diversity available to both scientist and volunteers through the publication of field guides, posters and scientific papers. The project is coordinated by National Biodiversity Centre (NBC) at Thimphu where also the Bhutanese national natural history collection is housed.


The Bhutanese-Dutch cooperation on biodiversity reserarch was initiated in 2013 by Dr. Tashi (NBC), Sangay Dema (NBC), Kees Klein, Wim Klein and Prof. E. Gittenberger. From 2014 onwards the project was financially supported by the Bhutan Trust Fund and the Uyttenboogaart Eliasen Foundation This allowed for the establishment of a collection facility at the NBC in Bhutan and for a series of field work trips. 

The following institutes are currently involved in the project:

College of Natural Resources (CNR)

National Biodiversity Center, Bhutan (NBC)

National Plant Protection Center, Bhutan

Naturalis Biodiversity Center

School of Life Sciences, Sherubtse College

Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment

Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) 

For more information regarding the project contact:

Choki Gyeltshen (chokig@gmail.com), coordinator NBC Bhutan Biodiversity Project 
Dr. Vincent Kalkman (vincent.kalkman@naturalis.nl), coordinator Naturalis Bhutan Biodiversity Project

Available expertise

The people listed below are involved in the project and can assist with identifications and can help design research projects. Do not hesitate asking their help, they are eager to support biodiversity research in Bhutan.

Wasp & Bees
Phurpa Dorji (Royal Society for Protection of Nature): pokchee@gmail.com
Tshering Nidup (School of Life Sciences, Sherubtse College, Kanglung, Bhutan): khangpa@gmail.com
Wim Klein (Naturalis Biodiversity Center): wim.klein@naturalis.nl
Prof. Koos Biesmeijer (Naturalis Biodiversity Center): koos.biesmijer@naturalis.nl

Dragonflies Odonata
Thinley Gyeltshen (School of Life Sciences, Sherubtse College, Kanglung, Bhutan): thinleytshen@gmail.com
Dr. Vincent Kalkman (Naturalis Biodiversity Center): vincent.kalkman@naturalis.nl
Dr. Jan van Tol (Naturalis Biodiversity Center): jan.vantol@naturalis.nl

Beetles (especially Ladybeetles & Waterbeetles)
Cheten Dorji (College of Natural Resources): cd@cnr.edu.bt
Phuntsho Loday (National Plant Protection Center): plodaybt@yahoo.com
Dr. Oscar Vorst (Naturalis Biodiversity Center): oscar.vorst@naturalis.nl

Butterflies & Moths
Karma Wangdi (Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment): kwangdi@uwice.gov.bt
Cees Gielis (Naturalis Biodiversity Center): pterophoridae@gmail.com

Praying mantises Mantids
Cobi Feijen (Naturalis Biodiversity Center): cobi.feijen@naturalis.nl

Stalk-eyed flies Diopsidae
Hans Feijen (Naturalis Biodiversity Center): hans.Feijen@naturalis.nl

Hoverflies Syrphidae
John Smit (Naturalis Biodiversity Center): john.smit@naturalis.nl (also Tephritidae)
Theo Zeegers (Naturalis Biodiversity Center): theo.zeegers@naturalis.nl (also Tachinidae & Tabanidae)


Dr. Edmund Gittenberger (Naturalis Biodiversity Center): edi.gittenberger@naturalis.nl
Pema Leda (National Biodiversity Centre, Bhutan): pemled12@gmail.com