White-Bellied Heron | WWF

White-Bellied Heron



With roughly 200 White-Bellied Herons (Ardea Insignis) in the world today, herons are among the 50 rarest bird species on earth. Herons mostly dwell in Southeast Asian countries and presumably Bhutan shelters a little over 30 herons in the nation.
 
This critically endangered bird almost on the brink of extinction has found itself  a befitting abode along the banks of Punatshangchu basin in central Bhutan. In Bhutan eight nesting sites have been identified amongst lofty flowing waters with pebbly substrates and Chir pine forests. Another characteristic feature of the herons is their unique courtship system which begins in the winter from January to February as the river water recedes. The birds chase after each other playfully with sticks, catching fish, basking in the sun and calling out to partners. 
 
Earlier, Herons were just limited to the banks of Punatshangchu, but latetly traces of heron chicks were sighted in Zhemgang in Central Bhutan. This means that Herons could possibly exist in other parts of Bhutan too.
 
Attacks on birds and their eggs by predators  have been a major cause in their reduction. The pressure on the birds has further risen with the lack of scientific approach and scanty awareness among the local communities. Heron habitat could also be defragmented with pro developmental activities such as, hydropower generation and road creation.
 
	© WWF Bhutan
WWF Bhutan/White Bellied Heron
© WWF Bhutan