Restoring Dungtsho Lake | WWF

Restoring Dungtsho Lake



Posted on 12 February 2015
dungtsho
Dungtsho before (above) and after (below) restoration
© WWF Bhutan
The Dungtsho lake in Bumdeling, Trashi Yangtse, is a source of reverence for the local community. 63-year old Ap Zhokpola, a farmer and a small time shopkeeper in Bumdeling, said that his people sought blessings from the tsho (lake). “This is a holy lake and because of its blessings, we the people of Bumdeling have abundant crops and lead a healthy and happy life,” he said. 
However, the lake began to dry up and by 2010 it was at its lowest level. “The lake walls started to breach and as the tsho began to dry up, we had many people in our community getting sick and their crops, especially the paddy fields, being destroyed by the flooding Kulongchu river,” said Ap Zhokpola. 
The community tried to restore the lake but ran out of resources. The Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary started restoration works in February 2013. WWF Bhutan Senior Program Officer, Phurba Lhendup, said that besides saving the lake for its religious significance, it was also to ensure that critical habitats were protected. The area was also significant because it was declared as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. 
Within one year of restoration, the lake is now backing to its former glory with many bird species. According to forester Tshering Chophel of the Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary, birds such as Mallards, White-breasted Water Hen and Black-tailed Crakes visit the lake.
dungtsho
Dungtsho before (above) and after (below) restoration
© WWF Bhutan Enlarge