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

Tiger Sangay, Rajanathan Rajaratnam, Karl Vernes


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and conservation status of the Bhutan Takin using the information gathered through field surveys, interviews and unpublished reports.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


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

Full Text:



Aiyadurai, A., N.J. Singh & E.J. Milner-Gulland (2010). Wildlife hunting by indigenous tribes: a case study from Arunachal Pradesh, north-east India. Oryx 44(4): 564–572;

Ali, S. & H. Santapau (1959). Notes on a tame Takin. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 56(1): 128–129.

Bailey, F.M. (1907). A live Takin (Budorcas taxicolor). Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 17(3): 842–843.

Dasgupta, S., S. Sarkar, Kayrong, D. Deori, T. Dada, R. Kaul, M.K. Ranjitsinh & V. Menon (2010). Distribution and Status of Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) along the Tibet, Myanmar and Bhutan borders in India. A report of the Wildlife Trust of India submitted to Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, December, 2010, 47pp.

GoI (1972). The Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, New Delhi, India. Electronic version accessed 8 April 2013.

Groves, C. & Leslie Jr., D.M. (2011). Family (Bovidae) pp. 712–731. In: Wilson, D.E. & R.A. Mittermeier (eds.). Handbook of the Mammals of the World - Vol. 2. Hoofed Mammals. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

Hodgson, B.H. (1850). On the Takin of the eastern Himalaya: Budorcas taxicolor mihi. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 19: 65–75.

Kubiszewski, I., R. Costanza, L. Dorji, P. Thoennes & K. Tshering (2013). An initial estimate of the value of ecosystem services in Bhutan. Ecosystem Services e11–e21;

Ma, Y.T. & X.F. Wang (2008). Current status and protection measures of Golden Takin (Budorcas taxicolor bedfordi) in Qinling Mountain Ranges. Shaanxi Forest Science and Technology 2: 80–83.

Mahar, N., S. Dasgupta, M. Chatterjee, S. Bodhankar, R. Kaul & M.K. Ranjitsinh (2011). In search of the Mishmi Takin - Conservation Prospects of a Dwindling Goat-Antelope. A Consolidated Final Report submitted to Dutch Zoo Conservation Fund and Wildlife Trust of India, 50pp.

Mishra, C., M.D. Madhusudan & A. Datta (2006). Mammals of the high altitudes of western Arunachal Pradesh, eastern Himalaya: an assessment of threats and conservation needs. Oryx 40(1): 29–35;

MOTIF (1974). National Forest Policy. Ministry of Trade Industries and Forests, Royal Government of Bhutan, Thimphu, Bhutan.

NCAH (2015). Status of Notifiable Animal Diseases in Bhutan 1996–2014. National Centre for Animal Health, Thimphu, Bhutan, 33pp.

Neas, J.F. & R.S. Hoffmann (1987). Budorcas taxicolor. American Society of Mammalogists 277: 1–7.

Penjor, S. (2015). Feral dogs attack livestock in Lunana. Bhutan Broadcasting Services. Electronic version accessed 1 November 2015.

PRoC (1989). Wildlife Protection Law of China. People’s Republic of China, China.

Rajaratnam, R., K. Vernes & T. Sangay (2016). A review of livestock predation by large carnivores in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan, pp. 143–171. In: Angelici, F.M. (ed.). Problematic Wildlife A Cross-Disciplinary Approach. Springer, 603pp.

RGOB (1995). Forest and Nature Conservation Act of Bhutan 1995. Royal Government of Bhutan, Thimphu, Bhutan.

Rinzin, K., T. Tenzin & I. Robertson (2016). Size and demography pattern of the domestic dog population in Bhutan: Implications for dog population management and disease control. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 126: 39–47;

Sangay, T. & K. Vernes (2008). Human-wildlife conflict in the kingdom of Bhutan: patterns of livestock predation by large mammalian carnivores. Biological Conservation 141: 1272–1282;

Schaller, G.B. (1985). Talking of Takins. Animal Kingdom 88: 22–29.

Schaller, G.B., Q. Teng, W. Pan, Z. Qin, X.F. Wang, J. Hu & H. Shen (1986). Feeding Behaviour of Sichuan Takin (Budorcas taxicolor). Mammalia 50(3): 309–322.

Shackleton, D.M. (ed.) (1997). Wild Sheep and Goats and their Relatives -Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan for Caprinae. IUCN/SSC Caprinae Specialist Group, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK, 390pp.

Sharma, D., N. Manjrekar, S. Mukherjee, M.V. Katti, G.S. Rawat, P. Singh & A.J.T. Johnsingh (1995). The Takin (Bovidae, Caprinae) in Arunachal Pradesh, India. Mammalia 59: 1–3.

Sharma, D., T. Wangchuk, G.S. Rawat & A.J.T. Johnsingh (2015). Takin, Budorcas taxicolor, pp. 376–384. In: Johnsingh, A.J.T. & N. Manjrekar (eds.). Mammals of South Asia (Vol. 2), Universities Press Private Limited, 776pp.

Smith, A.T. & Y. Xie (eds.). (2008). A Guide to the Mammals of China. Princeton Oxforshire. Princeton University Press, 472pp.

Song, Y.L., A.T. Smith & J. MacKinnon (2008). Budorcas taxicolor. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T3160A9643719.

. Downloaded on 8 April 2015.

Thinley, P. & L. Tharchen (2015). Conservation Management Plan of Jigme Dorji National Park for the period January 2015–December 2019. Department of Forest and Park Services, Thimphu, Bhutan, 109pp.

Wangchuk, R. (2011). New sighting of Takin in Thrumshingla National Park. Electronic version accessed 9 December 2011.

Wangchuk, T., P. Thinley, K. Tshering, C. Tshering, D. Yonten & B. Pema (2008). A Field Guide to Mammals of Bhutan. Thimphu, Bhutan, 182pp.

Wangchuk, T.R. (1999). Diet Selection by Bhutan Takin (Budorcas taxicolor whitei) on Its Summer Range in Jigme Dorji National Park, Bhutan. MSc Thesis, University of Life Sciences, Norway.

Wangchuk, T.R., P. Wegge & T. Sangay (2015). Habitat and diet of Bhutan Takin Budorcas taxicolor whitei during summer in Jigme Dorji National Park, Bhutan. Journal of Natural History 50: 11–12;

Wangdi, P. (1996). Survey of gid eradication program: indicence of coenurosis in Yak population in Lingshe Dungkhag. International Yak Newsletter 2(November): 12–24.

Wangdi, P. (2014). Prevalence of Hypodermosis in Laya Yaks. Journal of Renewal Natural Resources Bhutan 10: 77–85.

Wangmo, C.L. (2013). The road to Laya Begins. Bhutan Observer 38: 10–11. Electronic version accessed on 12 January 2013]

Wollenhaupt, H. (1990). Etho-ecological investigation of the Takin (Budorcas taxicolor) in Bhutan. Tshenden 2: 32–43.

Zeng, Z.G., Y.L. Song, W.Q. Zhong, H.S. Gong, J. Zhang & G.D. Dang (2001). Food Habits of Golden Takin. Chinese Journal of Zoology 36(3): 36–44.

Zeng, Z.G., W.Q. Zhong, Y.L. Song, J.S. Li & F. Guo (2002). Group size, composition and stability of Golden Takin in Shaanxi Foping Nature Reserve, China. Folia Zoologica 51(4): 289–298.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2016 Tiger Sangay, Rajanathan Rajaratnam, Karl Vernes

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The Journal of Threatened Taxa is an open access and print, peer-reviewed, monthly, international journal on conservation and taxonomy. The aim of the Journal is to promote wildlife research and conservation action worldwide at no cost to authors, no subscription or membership cost, and no hidden cost, on a regular basis without compromising on ethics, standards and pre-requisites of scientific publications.





This site is run on the Open Journal System (OJS). This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.