Thursday, July 17, 2014

Yartsa-Guen bub

Cordyceps sinensis : Yartsa-Guen bub

Photographs from 2014 

The question I ask every time at the end of auction day is: Is it CORDYCEPS festival?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Guest Blogger Lhendup Tharchen saves snow leopards in Bhutan

by SIBYLLE on FEBRUARY 26, 2013
Lhendup Tharchen, wildlife biologist from the tiny Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan working to save snow leopards and tigers in the only habitat in the world where the two big cats overlap. Photo (c) WildCru.
Lhendup Tharchen, wildlife biologist from the tiny Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan working to save snow leopards and tigers in the only habitat in the world where the two big cats overlap. Photo (c) WildCru.
Lhendup Tharchen is a wildlife biologist and Park Manager in Bhutan. He is originally from Ura, a small village in Bumthang. Lhendup currently works in Jigme Dorji National park and his work focuses on the big cats, snow leopards and tigers, of Bhutan. Bhutan is the only country of twelve snow leopard range countries where snow leopards and tigers share habitat.
Lhendup is our guest blogger and he shares his excitement at the recent proof from camera traps of a snow leopard family in Bhutan.
“Some say “Mountain ghosts” and some refer to them as “Queen of the Himalayas”. I can’t resist to refer them as the” King of Himalayas”, the elusive and cryptic species , the snow leopard.
 Bhutan is known for its un-matching biodiversity richness. The per capita of biodiversity richness for a small country like Bhutan would beyond any doubt be one of the highest among the countries.  
 Until recently, when camera traps were not deployed for snow leopard surveys, irrespective of the concrete evidence reports from the field, many people questioned the true existence of snow leopards. It is at time a big question whether we really have snow leopards in Bhutan.
Not one, not two, but a family of three snow leopards captured by remote camera trap in Wangchuck Centennial Park (WCP) in Bhutan. Photo (C) WCP.
Not one, not two, but a family of three snow leopards captured by remote camera trap in Wangchuck Centennial Park (WCP) in Bhutan. Photo (C) WCP.
 This is where and when the modern technology rescued conservationists in Bhutan in raising our heads while talking on snow leopards. In a difficult terrain like Bhutan’s, no amount of energy would suffice the search for Himalayan kings, and last resort one would wish for is magic and magical powers. Rugged and in accessible  terrains compounded by high altitudes with low oxygen level  is not only an inhibiting factors for the researchers in Bhutan’s high mountain terrains, but a matter of daring to sacrifice one’s life to struggle with the available oxygen in those places. Up on the mountains, where you feel at the height above most of the places on the planet except for few peaks like EVEREST and its competitor ranges,  one will wish for only one thing, the SNOW LEOPARD rolling on its tail on the snow covered steep slopes.
Blue sheep, a major prey species for the snow leopard in the Wangchuck Centennial Park in Bhutan. Photo (c) WCP and WWF/Bhutan.
Blue sheep, a major prey species for the snow leopard in the Wangchuck Centennial Park in Bhutan. Photo (c) WCP and WWF/Bhutan.
Findings from the camera trapping effort in the northern protected areas of Bhutan in last 2 years span has proven more than anyone could wish the proof to be.  Numerous individuals have been captured in Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP) and Wangchuck Centennial Park (WCP).  Big cats are solitary in nature, but who said that they are lone animals. Like everyone do, they love their families. So is the Snow leopard family in WCP has been captured using the remote camera.
The officials of WCP, disregarding all the above hostile factors gave their best for the conservation and so did they get their best.  Thanks to all the dedicated heroes of WCP. There have been many records of pictorial findings throughout the snow leopard ranges, but to me at least, three individuals captured on a single shot in a  camera trap is probably the first one ever (pardon me if I have missed any from others parts of the world).
And that is how snow leopards survive in the KINGDOM of BHUTAN and Bhutan is  a special place for HIMALAYAN KINGS.”
Thanks for sharing your story, Lhendup, and we wish you and your Park colleagues and all snow leopard partner NGO’s good luck for this work. Bhutan has a wonderful record of environmentalism and conservation and it is awesome to see snow leopards thriving there.
{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }
Karma Thukten February 27, 2013 at 4:35 pm
Snow Leopards in their astounding furry costumes, much coveted sight that would exorcize peoples’ momentary mortal doldrums, expiate vices in a flawed personality, relieve sufferings from eternal purgatory, usher in smiles galore…
the flagship species is worth conserving for…we laud the perseverance put in by all field staffs who have struggled all these years to conserve the mighty ” King of the Himalayas”
i commend Sir, Lhendup Tharchen for eloquently and elegantly putting forth this article:
Kudos !!!
tashi lhamo February 28, 2013 at 1:57 pm
Great Job
1. Lhundupla
2. Shingkharpa
Thanks for sharing
Keep it up
 Sibylle February 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm
thankyou Tashi for supporing Lhendup’s work from “Saving Snow Leopard” Blog.
 Sibylle February 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm
Karmna,a we are happy you support snow leopards in Bhutan and the work of Lhendup. Thankyou for your comment.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Records of Tigers at High altitude in Bhutan

I would like to thank Mr. Karma Jigme for this successful attempt.

Dedicated to Tigers and people living in Central Bhutan

I post this paper on my blog to thank my Professor David Macdonald, CBE, University of Oxford for all his support, guidance and blessings. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My lens on birds

With the leading Snow leopard expert on the planet.

My fortune: A moment with the leading Snow leopard expert on the planet, Dr. Rodney Jackson at Bishkek, Kyrgyztan during the snow leopard forum 2013. Dr. Rodney is also the Executive Director for the Snow leopard Conservancy.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bomb blast at Mahabodhi temple........For good or bad?

PRINCE was born in the south eastern province of Nepal, presently known as Lumbini. Answer to the prayers of the subjects and the wish fulfilment to the King and the queen, a new born prince was named SIDARTHA.  Destined to take over the throne, little Sidartha changed the destiny of his princehood.  Wandering into the forest, leaving the palace behind was a great sacrifice. Who would have thought so?....It would have been  full of surprise, shock and disbelief. Decision was final that time and I suppose that it was a heavenly and karmic decision.  
Sidartha’s way of practice wandering in Nepal and India without having to process visa was a sign of transboundary peace. For the survival it was full of peace, but for the enlightenment it wasn’t so. With much difficulties and hardships, a prince who would have enjoyed the ultimate freedom of worldly materials has attained the buddhahood enlightenment at the verge of his only skeletal body remains collapsing. Popularly known as Jagar Dorji Dhen (Bodhgaya in INDIA) is the very place where he attained enlightenment. I believe that is the very place where Sidartha got an ultimate enlightenment  under the boddhi peepal tree called Jangchub shing and became so called BUDDHA.
7th July 2013 marked the day of reminder of princely Buddha. To me I feel that Buddha doesn’t belong to the Buddhist world only, but to the universe.  Therefore, why a blast at the site where he attained enlightenment?

My personal views: 

1.     It’s a warning as well as reminder for the host country India to give due importance to their heritage site and also other countries to support for the greater cause. We all must be concerned and reminded of the unseen and unpredictable future.
2.     Why do we blame Naxalites and terrorists?. I don’t see any reason for the Naxals and terrorists in planting a bomb at the place of so much respect and importance. Even the terrorists are human beings in search of peace and wellbeing.  They too have religion. They have faith in god and mercy on others sufferings.
3.     Security needs to be strengthened. It could be an alarm call from the concerned group of individuals to have a tight security for such an important place. Small damage for now could mean saving the great monument for future.

4.     Blast at Mahabodhi temple is a sign of flourishing buddhism. Disturbances are inevitable in the journey of success and accomplishments. Charming Prince Sidartha encountered endless disturbances towards the path of Dharma to the destination of enlightenment. So its a process of glorifying Buddhism. 

At this very moment, I write these instant thoughts with sadness. I am sad that they targeted on the holy eepal tree (Ficus religiosa) under which Buddha attained enlightenment.

 I am not sure if some one has already tried to raise a seedling from this tree and its high time that something is done to save its originality through certain means. Cost of losing this holly tree would mean a lot for our future generation. We may not be able to hand over the legacy to our children and grand children.

Therefore, its time for us to unite and cooperate in saving the global heritage monument of great significance. May peace prevail on earth and happiness to the people around the globe.