Phobjikha Residents Support Black-Necked Crane Conservation

According to a study on the conservation of black-necked cranes and its perceived trade-offs in Phobjikha Valley, 75 percent of the 222 respondents in Phobjikha agreed to the conservation of the cranes while 27 percent felt that interference due to conservation was not significant at all.

A majority of Phobjikha residents support the conservation of black-necked cranes. (Source: http://www.bbs.bt)

 

A majority of Phobjikha residents support the conservation of black-necked cranes.

According to a study on the conservation of black-necked cranes and its perceived trade-offs in Phobjikha Valley, 75 percent of the 222 respondents in Phobjikha agreed to the conservation of the cranes while 27 percent felt that interference due to conservation was not significant  at all.

A graduate from the College of Natural Resources, Jigme Wangchuk shared his findings at the fourth annual research symposium organised by the Bhutan Ecological Society on December 2.

The study was conducted to find out how conservation approaches impacted the community of Phobjikha valley and how the community supports conservation efforts.

 

 

Vulnerability of the Black-necked cranes

The Black-necked crane is the only alpine crane species and is classified as vulnerable under the International Union for Conservation of Nature. There are about 11,000 cranes around the world according to the World Wildlife Fund.

Jigme Wangchuk said that conservation efforts will not have much impact on people and that people will still have access to basic developmental amenities such as access to farm roads, schools and basic health unit. 

“There was no restriction on farming practices due to conservation efforts. People are free to use agro chemicals and any kinds of techniques for farming.”

However, only seven percent agreed to chemical free farming while 41 percent of the respondents disagreed.

Main source of income for the respondents is potato farming

Jigme Wangchuk said this might be because the main source of income for 94 percent of the respondents is potato farming. “It’s the main source of income for them and they cannot compromise their income in the name of conservation,” he said.

“People were willing to go for agro-chemical free farming if they are incentivised for the forgone income opportunities.”

The chemicals are mainly used to kill the potato plants for easier harvesting.

The study also found out that 12 percent of the respondents felt that access to electricity was paramount as they faced irregularities in power supply due to underground electric circuit fitting. “About 13 percent of the respondents felt the restrictions on their mobility,” Jigme Wangchuk said.

He said that people perceived that waste generation has increased by 50 percent and the use of mineral fertiliser by 64 percent, which could threaten the conservation of the cranes.

“Despite monthly waste management activities, they felt that there is a deterioration of waste management activities.”

 

By Karma Cheki (This article has been edited for the New Bhutan Times)

This article first appeared on Kuensel.

 

 


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