Bhutan Journal of Natural Resources and Development

College of Natural Resources

Avifauna Found in the State Reserved Forest Land of Trongsa District, Bhutan

Gyeltshen , Phub .;  Norbu , Chojay .;  Rinchen, Kado .; 



The presence of pristine ecosystems over a wide altitudinal range is a major factor in making Trongsa district biologically diverse. The country is home to 748 bird species. As much as 44% of birds are said to be found in the State Reserved Forest Land of Trongsa district. The district has been identified as an Important Bird Area of the country. We present a comprehensive list of avifauna found inside the Reserved Forest areas of the district, and the bird species list is based on field observations made in between 2017-2019. We report 330 species of birds belonging to 18 orders with 59 families out of which 321 species are least concerned and 9 are globally threatened species. Among the recorded species, 41% are uncommon, 36% common and 23% are rare in the district. Migratory status showed that 121 species are resident, 114 altitudinal migrants, 27 summer visitors, 50 winter visitors, 16 passage migrants and two species are said to be vagrants. The present study reveals the richness of birds and conservation importance of habitats outside protected areas and biological corridors are quintessential for conservation of birds in the region.


avifauna, Bhutan, checklist, conservation

Full Text



Ali, S. (1941). The Book of Indian Birds. The Bombay Natural History Society, 9-12pp.

Ali, S., Biswas, B. and Repley S.D. (1996). Birds of Bhutan, Rec. zool. Surv. India Occasional Paper No. 136: 1 207.

BirdLife International (2017) Handbook of the Birds of the World and BirdLife International digital checklist of the birds of the world. Version 9.1. Available at:

Bishop, K.D. (1999). Preliminary notes on some birds in Bhutan. FORKTAIL 15: 87-91.

Bishop, K.D. (2009). Spectacled Finch Callacanthis burtoni: another new country record for Bhutan. Forktail 25: 154-155.

Chan, S., Crosby, M.J., Islam, M.Z. and Tordoff, A.W. (2004). Important Bird Areas in Asia: Key Sites for Conservation. BirdLife International. 

Choudhury, A. (2005). First record of Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus for Bhutan. Forktail 21: 165pp.

Choudhury, A. U. (2006). Some new and interesting birds records from Bhutan. Indian Birds 3 (2): 51–53.

Clements, F.A. (1992). Recent records from Bhutan. Forktail 7: 57-73.

Clements, J.F., Schulenberg, T. S., Iliff, M. J., Roberson, D., Fredericks, T. A., Sullivan, B. L. andWood,  C. L. (2018). The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from

Feijen, C. and Feijen, H.R. (2008). A review of the breeding birds of Bhutan. FORKTAIL 24: 1–24.Grimmett, R., Inskipp, C. and Inskipp, T. (1998). Birds of the Indian subcontinent. London: Christopher Helm.

Grimmett, R., Inskipp, C., Inskipp, T. and Sherub (2019). Birds of Bhutan and the Eastern Himalayas. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. London.

Inskipp, C. and Inskipp, T. P. (1993a). Birds recorded during a visit to Bhutan in autumn 1991. Forktail 8: 97-112.

Inskipp, C. and Inskipp, T. P.  (1993b). Birds recorded during a visit to Bhutan in spring 1993. Forktail 9: 121-142.

Inskipp, C., Inskipp, T. and Grimmett, R. (1999). Birds of Bhutan. London and Thimphu: Christopher Helm and WWF.

Inskipp, C., Inskipp, T. and Sherub (2000). The ornithological importance of Thrumshingla National Park, Bhutan. FORKTAIL 16: 147-162.

Inskipp, T., Lindsey, N. and Duckworth, W. A. (2001). Checklist of the Birds of the Oriental Region. Oriental Bird Club. (Web address:

IUCN (2019). The International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2019-3. Downloaded on 10 December 2019.

Lepage, D. ( 2019). Checklist of the birds of Tongsa. Avibase, the world bird database. Available at

Ludlow, F. and Kinnear, N. B. (1937). The birds of Bhutan and adjacent territories of Sikkim and Tibet. Ibis (14)1: 1-46.

National Soil Service Center. (2011). Land Covers Assessment Map, 2010. Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, RGoB, Thimphu.

Stattersfield, A.J., Crosby, M.J., Long, A.J. and Wege, D.C. (1998). Endemic bird areas of the world: priorities for biodiversity conservation. Cambridge: BirdLife International.

Trongsa. (2018). Community Forest Management Plan, Samcholing Community Forest, Drakteng Gewog.

Trongsa. (2019). Local Forest Management Plan. Unpublished raw data.

Tymstra, R., Connop, S. and Tshering, C. (1996). Some bird observations from central Bhutan, May 1994. Forktail 12: 49-60.