KP Sharma

The National Biodiversity Centre (NBC) has recorded 122 new species of moth in Bhutan between 2014-2022.

The country today has 1,900 species of moth.

Moths are an integral part of biodiversity and play an important role in maintaining the ecosystem and aiding pollination, among others.

To document the diversity of moths and related study in the country, the first-ever field guidebook titled, Moths of Bhutan, was launched recently.

The book establishes a national baseline and sheds light on the diversity of moths in the country.

The book includes the checklist of moths and is expected to serve as a guide to environmentalists as well as the general public who are interested to learn about moths.

A forest ranger and co-author of the book, Karma Wangdi, said that the study of moths in Bhutan covered all the dzongkhags except Samtse. “Densely forested dzongkhags like Dagana and Trashiyangtse are suitable habitats for moths.”

He said that Bhutan’s discovery of new species of moth indicates the richness of biodiversity in the country.

The research project was coordinated by National Biodiversity Centre in collaboration with Naturalis Biodiversity Centre in the Netherlands, College of Natural Resources, Ugyen Wangchuck Institute of Forestry, and Training and National Plant Protection Centre with fund support from Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation (BTFEC).

To sensitise and help people learn about the documentation of moths in their vicinity, Bhutan participated in observing the first-ever citizen science project called National Moth Week along with 69 other countries in July 2022.