Bhutan biodiversity project

Bhutan biodiversity project

Bhutanese and Dutch scientists are involved in a common effort to describe and better understand the biodiversity of Bhutan (Bhutan Biodiversity Project). This cooperation has since 2015 resulted in numerous small expeditions and the discovery and description of new species of dragonflies, beetles, flies, snails, water mites and moths. From 2019 onward the project will mainly focus on pollinators and freshwater biodiversity.


Dr. Ing. Vincent J. Kalkman

Researcher: Evolutionary Ecology

27.448381222923, 89.639215772062


The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is rich in biodiversity and is unique due to its well-preserved landscapes ranging from lowland rainforest to high alpine habitats. The birds and mammals of Bhutan are well studied but information on invertebrates is limited. The Bhutanese-Dutch cooperation aims to make information on this forgotten diversity available to both scientist and volunteers through the publication of field guides, posters and scientific papers. The project is coordinated by National Biodiversity Centre (NBC) at Thimphu where also the Bhutanese national natural history collection is housed.


    The Bhutanese-Dutch cooperation on biodiversity reserarch was initiated in 2013 by Dr. Tashi (NBC), Sangay Dema (NBC), Kees Klein, Wim Klein and Prof. E. Gittenberger. From 2014 onwards the project was financially supported by the Bhutan Trust Fund and the Uyttenboogaart Eliasen Foundation This allowed for the establishment of a collection facility at the NBC in Bhutan and for a series of field work trips. 

    The following institutes are currently involved in the project:


    The Bhutan Biodiversity Project resulted in fieldwork on a large number of taxonomic groups. For all these groups expertise is currently available in Bhutan or in the Netherlands. This includes moths, bees, hoverflies, wasps, lady-beetles, water beetles, dragonflies, damselflies, molluscs and water mites. Please contact Vincent Kalkman ( if you would like to contact one of the experts.



    Choki Gyeltshen (, coordinator NBC Bhutan Biodiversity Project, Dr. Vincent Kalkman (, coordinator Naturalis Bhutan Biodiversity Project.