Three Juvenile White-bellied Herons (WBH) GPS tagged

Researchers from Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN) and Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment Research (UWICER) jointly tagged three WBH juveniles at Kisonachhu on May 14, 2019. Sherub (PhD) from UWICER led this GPS tagging activity.

The current nest was located by the team from RSPN and officials of the Department of Forests (DoFPS) on March 2, 2019 during its annual population survey 2019. The first egg was confirmed on March 4, 2019. There were three eggs laid by March 9. The nest is located at the middle of the riparian broad-leaved forest 50-60 meters from the river. With the incubation period of 30-33 days, the first chicks were expected to hatch in the first week of April 2019. The three juveniles were approximately 40-45 days old when tagged on May 14.

The three juveniles tagged on May 14 were named as Sangay (Tag ID 5274) chhoe (Tag ID 5275) and Gaedhen (Tag ID 5284), referring to the Triple Gem in the religious context of Bhutan.  The tagging materials were supported by Maxplanck Institute for ornithology (MPIO), Germany.

The tagging was completed in the morning  from 6-7am. The juveniles with GPS tags on their legs did not exhibit any discomforting behaviour.  The RSPN team continued to monitor the nest few hours later. The parents and juveniles have been observed not to show any abnormal family behaviour on the nest.

A similar tagging program was also initiated in 2016 by RSPN, at Burichhu, with the help of an expert from Czech Republic, Dr. Peske a freelance ecological consultant working with the Synchronicity Earth. The team tagged two Juveniles, Heron1 and 2 in the process of rescuing the juveniles.

The tagging of juvenile WHB is to understand the post fledging life history and their dispersal.

Reported by Sherub and Tshewang Lhendup

Picture Courtesy: Dr. Sherub Sherub/UWICER

Mr. Sonam Tshering (RSPN)

Mr. Tshewang Lhendup (RSPN)