06 July 2022: The Department of Livestock launches the following documents:
A book titled “Fishes of Eastern Bhutan”, is developed by the National Research and Development Center for Riverine & Lake Fisheries (NRDCRLF), Haa. It represents the second edition in a two-volume series documenting the diversity of fishes in Bhutan and lists 115 fish species from Eastern Bhutan.
The book is part of the study on Species Composition and Distribution of Fish in Aiechhu, Nyera-Amarichhu and the Manas river basin. The study was f
unded by the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation.
Bhutan’s rivers are home to one of the rich and unique aquatic biodiversity. As Bhutan’s water reserves, they get developed through numerous anthropogenic activities, the riverine ecosystem will inevitably be impacted. When this happens, it is necessary to mitigate these impacts in the form of management and conservation programs. A comprehensive fishery database in that regard, is crucial for developing sound management plans. Thus, this book, provides data and information needed to help guide management and mitigation strategies for aquatic biodiversity in Bhutan.
Yak genetic improvement is one of the critical components to ensure sustainable livelihood of highland communities in the country. Yaks are not only the main source of livelihood for highland communities but also play a key role in maintaining rangeland ecosystems and preservation of highland culture and traditions.
There is concern on the deteriorating status of yak genetic resources in the country due to lack of a strategic breeding plan coupled with difficulty in getting breeding bulls even though the population has remained largely the same. This document will provide timely and critical technical guidance for the improvement of yak genetic resources in the country to enhance productivity and the overall economy of yak rearing highland communities.
The Bjop-Khyi is found in highland communities, mainly with yak herders and play a significant dual role of companion and guard dog, protecting highland domestic animals and properties aga
inst wild predators and human encroachers. The Bjop-Khyi is highly valued and cherished for its excellent guarding characteristics and has strong presence in the highland landscape.
However, there has been a decline in the population of Bjop-Khyi over the years due to uncontrolled mating with stray and feral dogs as well as decreasing trend of yak herding communities. The NSPBBM was launched to provide scientific and technical guidance in implementing mastiff dogs (Bjop-Khyi) breeding program in the country.
Beekeeping unlike other livestock commodities can be easily taken up by poor and marginalized group of people and is a potential income generating activity and many farmers and groups in Bhutan have now chosen to expand number of improved hives to enhance honey production for better income. Currently, honey production is being carried out in Bumthang, Samtse, Sarpang, Tsirang, Dagana, Chukha, Haa, S/jongkhar, Trongsa, Zhemgang, Wangdu, Haa and Trashigang.
Subtropical districts of Bhutan viz. Tsirang, Sarpang, Dagana, Chukha, and Samtse is home for many local species of honeybees such as Apis dorsata, Apis laboriosa, Apis florea, Apis cerana and Trigona species from which honey is produced in various flowering seasons.
To sustain the bee farming it is crucial to have one’s own queen breeding and rearing capacity in the field. For this reason, the National Highland Research and Development Center has come with a handbook which will guide the beekeepers to breed their own queen and rear in their own farms with minimum cost.
Although, the yak rearing is highly remunerative and eco-friendly livestock farming system, yak development is still confronted with many challenges, one being low productivity due to genetic decline.The seasonal movement of herders from place to place and transboundary movement was critical in getting access to good quality yak breeds for maintaining viable population and sustaining yak production. As a consequence, yak populations have suffered from in-breeding and reduced productivity. Therefore, genetic improvement needs to be initiated through supply of good breeding bulls or making access to Artificial Insemination where possible.
Cryopreservation of semen from quality yak donor bulls and use of artificial insemination can be of the best tools for yak genetic improvement. Hence, selection of quality bulls as a semen donor is crucial in the breeding procedure. This SOP will provide general guidelines for selection of quality donors and their management for production of quality Yak semen in the country.
The Honorable Secretary of Ministry of Agriculture & Forests graced the launching of the books, at the DoL conference hall.