Coinciding with the World Water Day, the National Biodiversity Centre (NBC) will launch Wild River BioBlitz in the country today.

BioBlitz is an intense biological surveying attempted to record all the living species within a designated area.

In line with the theme of the World Water Day, “nature for water,” the NBC will encourage every one to take photographs of wildlife they see in and around the rivers. The photographs can be uploaded to the Bhutan Biodiversity Portal.

NBC in collaboration with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will be offering prizes for the various categories such as champion observer, best species found and the best photograph, a press release from the NBC stated.

“We have a network of experts to help identify observations made as part of the Wild River BioBlitz. A new spider was discovered by citizen science as part of a recent BioBlitz in Australia. We are excited by what members of the public might find,” Sangay Dema, Chief Biodiversity Officer at NBC.

All photographs submitted as part of the Wild River BioBlitz will contribute to the Bhutan Biodiversity Portal, which will serve as the central official repository of information about Bhutan’s biodiversity.

“Every contribution counts! Your contribution will stay in the national repository for eternity and contribute towards long term conservation policy decisions and actions,” Dr. Tashi Yangzome Dorji, the program director of NBC said.

People can also submit their observations and information relating to the species. This will be used as a part of scientific research.

The World Bank and WWF will be providing the fund to develop additional features and fields to accommodate aquatic biodiversity data in the Bhutan Biodiversity Portal.

“It is vital that we care for the health of our river systems and that we conduct scientific research and collate biodiversity data to ensure that our aquatic resources are managed sustainably, using science based information. One way everybody can help is to contribute information to the Bhutan Biodiversity Portal,” said Sonam Choden, Bhutan’s Freshwater Practice Lead, WWF.

According to the press release, the program will run throughout April and interested participants will have to register with the Bhutan Biodiversity Portal at their website.

Staff reporter