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

Tiger Sangay, Rajanathan Rajaratnam, Karl Vernes

Abstract


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and conservation status of the Bhutan Takin using the information gathered through field surveys, interviews and unpublished reports.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.


Keywords


Bhutan; Budorcas; conservation; habitat; migration; Takin.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11609/jott.2925.8.14.9630-9637

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