Black-necked Cranes

From the global population of 11,000 Black-necked cranes, approximately 500 of them migrate every winter to the lower altitudes of Bhutan from the high Tibetan plateau.  Three districts have been identified as crucial roosting areas in the country, in central, Bumthang (Gyetsa and Thangbi valleys); in central west, Wangduephodrang (Khotokha and Phobjikha valleys); and the far east in Trashiyangtse (Bumdeling).

Besides the traditional roosting areas, the bird has been reported exploring new areas or being mis-directed by weather conditions during its migration.

In 2010 winter, 347 cranes were reported to have visited the Phobjikha valley.


  1. In Bumdeling (the second highest wintering site in Bhutan), frequent monsoon floods have washed away the paddy fields that cranes forage on.
  2. Loss of habitat due to anthropogenic pressures like irrigation, roads, tourism, construction etc.
  3. Cranes also risk being killed by predators like leopard, wild dog and red fox.
  4. Global warming is yet another cause that will have an adverse hand in hampering its habitat.
Black Necked Crane 
© WWF Bhutan
WWF Bhutan/Black-necked Cranes
© WWF Bhutan