Bhutan biodiversity project

Bhutan biodiversity project

Bhutanese and Dutch scientist 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 in numerous small expeditions and the discovery and description of new species of dragonflies, beetles, flies, snails and moths. Part of my time is spent on coordinating this program. From 2019 onward part of the project will focus pollinator and freshwater conservation. 

Dr. Ing. Vincent J. Kalkman

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+31 (0)71 751 7373

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 people listed below are involved in the project and can assist with identifications and can help design research projects. Do not hesitate asking their help, they are eager to support biodiversity research in Bhutan.

Wasp & Bees
Phurpa Dorji (Royal Society for Protection of Nature):
Tshering Nidup (School of Life Sciences, Sherubtse College, Kanglung, Bhutan):
Wim Klein (Naturalis Biodiversity Center):
Prof. Koos Biesmeijer (Naturalis Biodiversity Center):

Dragonflies Odonata
Thinley Gyeltshen (School of Life Sciences, Sherubtse College, Kanglung, Bhutan):
Dr. Vincent Kalkman (Naturalis Biodiversity Center):
Dr. Jan van Tol (Naturalis Biodiversity Center):

Beetles (especially Ladybeetles & Waterbeetles)
Cheten Dorji (College of Natural Resources):
Phuntsho Loday (National Plant Protection Center):
Dr. Oscar Vorst (Naturalis Biodiversity Center):

Butterflies & Moths
Karma Wangdi (Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment):
Cees Gielis (Naturalis Biodiversity Center):

Praying mantises Mantids
Cobi Feijen (Naturalis Biodiversity Center):

Stalk-eyed flies Diopsidae
Hans Feijen (Naturalis Biodiversity Center):

Hoverflies Syrphidae
John Smit (Naturalis Biodiversity Center): (also Tephritidae)
Theo Zeegers (Naturalis Biodiversity Center): (also Tachinidae & Tabanidae)

Dr. Edmund Gittenberger (Naturalis Biodiversity Center):
Pema Leda (National Biodiversity Centre, Bhutan):


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