Journal of Threatened Taxa | | 26 April 2021 | 13(5): 18403–18405


ISSN 0974-7907 (Online) | ISSN 0974-7893 (Print)

#6058 | Received 29 April 2020 | Final received 26 March 2021 | Finally accepted 30 March 2021




Photographic record of Temminck’s Tragopan Tragopan temminckii (Gray, 1831) (Aves: Galliformes: Phasianidae) from eastern Bhutan: an evidence of its westward range expansion


Tshering Dorji 1, Kinley Kinley 2, Letro Letro 3, Dawa Tshering 4  & Prem Nanda Maidali 5


1,4,5 Tashigang Forest Division, Department of Forest and Park Services, Tashigang, 42001 Bhutan.

2 Tsirang Forest Division, Department of Forest and Park Services, Damphu, 36001 Bhutan.

2 Institute of Botany and Landscape Ecology, University of Greifswald, 17487 Germany.

3 Nature Conservation Division, Department of Forests & Park Services, Taba, Thimphu, 11002 Bhutan.

1, 2 (corresponding author), 3, 4, 5




Editor: Hem S. Baral, Charles Sturt University, Albury, Australia.         Date of publication: 26 April 2021 (online & print)


Citation: Dorji,  T., K. Kinley, L. Letro, D. Tshering & P.N. Maidali (2021). Photographic record of Temminck’s Tragopan Tragopan temminckii (Gray, 1831) (Aves: Galliformes: Phasianidae) from eastern Bhutan: an evidence of its westward range expansion. Journal of Threatened Taxa 13(5): 18403–18405.


Copyright: © Dorji et al. 2021. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.  JoTT allows unrestricted use, reproduction, and distribution of this article in any medium by providing adequate credit to the author(s) and the source of publication.


Funding: Royal Government of Bhutan.


Competing interests: The authors declare no competing interests.


Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Mr. Karma Leki, Chief Forestry Officer, Biological Corridor (BC) focal person, Mr. Ugyen Dechen (FO) & Sonam Tobgay (FO) Trashigang Forest Division for the guidance and allowing us to use cameras for camera trapping and data collection. We are also indebted thankful to our local guides for their support rendered during the survey. Mr. Tshering Tobgay, birder and an admin of Birds of Bhutan (Bhutan Birdlife society) facebook page is duly acknowledged for allowing all the birders across the country to post images and learn regarding the rich avifauna of Bhutan.



Inhabiting temperate forest and shrublands, Temminck’s Tragopan Tragopan temminckii is distributed across the eastern Himalaya in China, India, Myanmar, and Vietnam above 2,500m (Grewal et al. 2011; BirdLife International 2016).  In India, the bird has been observed along Mishmi Hills, Dibang and Tsangpo valleys in Arunachal Pradesh (Ali et al. 1995; Ali 1999), a state neighboring eastern Bhutan.  With estimated global population of over 100,000 individuals, Temminck’s Tragopan is listed as Least Concern species in its assessment by the IUCN Red List (BirdLife International 2016).  The species is declining over much of its distribution range owing to habitat degradation caused by under storey cutting, over grazing, over hunting, and collection of eggs (Del Hoyo et al. 1994).  Further, BirdLife International (2016) claimed that the most emerging threats identified in its range were habitat deterioration, hunting, and trapping.

Temmincks Tragopan is one of the three tragopan species found in Bhutan, the other two being Blyth’s Tragopan Tragopan blythii and Satyr Tragopan Tragopan satyra (Grimmett et al. 2019).

The presence of Temminck’s Tragopan in Bhutan was first reported in 2016 based on a camera trap image captured in 2014 from Samdrup Jongkhar District, near the Jomotsangkha Wildlife Sanctuary in eastern Bhutan (Kuensel Corporation Ltd 2016).  After six years of its first discovery, we have captured an image of a male Temminck’s Tragopan on 20 April 2020, which makes it the second photographic record of species from Bhutan.  The current observation was made at an elevation of 2,952m at a place called Kharungla (27.1800N & 91.5330E) under Lumang block of Trashigang District.  It was captured in one of the camera traps kept for monitoring mammals under Trashigang Forest Division.

The present observation site for the species is about 50km westward as compared to the first record of 2014, and approximately 170km away from the occurrence range updated by IUCN indicating a westward range expansion of its habitat from the earlier known distribution (Figure 1).  The vegetation type at the observation area is evergreen broadleaf forest mixed with bamboo species.  The dominant species found at the location were Rhododendron sp., Borinda grossa, and other smaller bamboo species (Arundinaria racemosa & Drepanostachyum spp.) with dense undergrowth.  The geographical aspect where the bird was photographed is south-east facing slope.  The habitat inhabited is very similar to those reported earlier by Shi et al. (1996) in China and Ali (1999) in neighboring India.  The image has been confirmed as that of a male Temminck’s Tragopanon consulting references, e.g., Grewal et al. (2011) and Ali & Ripley (1995) for plumage description.  According to them the male Temminck’s Tragopan is characterized by the presence of bright flame-orange overall with bright blue face surrounded by black and red under parts.  It also has black and white-spotted brown wings with upper tail and darker tail coverts as we can see in the image (Image 1).  Both records from Bhutan were made through motion sensored, remotely triggered camera traps in the primary forests, indicating that the species prefers forested habitat, away from human disturbances.  The fact that the species was recorded only in one camera trap station in the recent monitoring program indicates it is rare as well as elusive.  Therefore, further detailed study is recommended in the region to document the extent of distribution and associated threats in Bhutan, which are lacking for now.  Information from such studies will help Department of Forest and Park Services for conservation planning and IUCN in updating the species factsheet.


For figure & image - - click here





Ali, S. (1999). Field Guide to the Birds of the Eastern Himalayas. Oxford University Press, Delhi.

Ali, S. & S.D. Ripley (1995). A Pictorial Guide to the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Oxford University Press, India, 40pp.

BirdLife International (2016). Tragopan temminckii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species2016:e.T22679169A92805480. Downloaded on 22 April 2020. T22679 169 A92 805480.en   

Del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal (1994). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. 2: New World Vultures to Guinea Fowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, 638pp.

Grewal, B., B. Harvey & O. Pfister (2011). A Photographic Guide to the Birds of India: And the Indian Subcontinent, Including Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives (Princeton Field Guides). Timeless Books, New Delhi, 53pp.

Grimmett, R., C. Inskipp, T. Inskipp & Sherub (2019). Birds of Bhutan and the Eastern Himalayas. Replica Press Private Limited, 81pp.

Kuensel Corporation Limited (2016). Temminck’s Tragopan in Bhutan. Accessed on 27 April 2020. 

Shi, H.T., G.M. Zheng, H. Jiang & Z.K. Wu (1996). The study on habitat selection of Temminck’s Tragopan. Acta Zoologica Sinica 42: 90–95.