Ecology expert visits Laclubar-Soibada

Dr Graeme Gillespie, a wildlife ecologist from Darwin, Australia, visited Laclubar and Soibada with Dr Joanne Millar from 18th to 23 September 2019 to assess the potential for a robust scientific biodiversity assessment in 2020. Graeme is Director of Terrestrial Ecosystems, Northern Territory Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Australia. He has many years experience conducting biodiversity research in Borneo, Sulawesi and Australia. We visited several of the agroforestry sites in Laclubar, Bora, and Soibada with COTI field staff (from left- Maria, Isa, Vincentes, Pedro and Guido)


Four main remnant native habitat types were also inspected including: dry woodland dominated by Eucalyptus alba; tall open forest dominated by E. urophylla; monsoon rainforest and montane rainforest. These remnant native habitat patches are potentially important refuges for biodiversity.  However they are threatened by frequent and intense fires, farming, timber and firewood collection, intensive livestock grazing, weed invasion and hunting.


Eucalyptus urophylla (Ai Ru) forest near Laclubar

A proposal has been drafted to assess the distribution and composition of biodiversity persisting in Laclubar and Soibada by conducting repeat sampling across all five forest types for birds, reptiles, frogs and small mammals. The information will allow us to;

  • Evaluate the role of plantation-agricultural environments and remnant native habitats for supporting biodiversity, and the co-benefits from carbon schemes.
  • Identify management options for maintaining or enhancing biodiversity values in the area.
  • Provide a baseline for future monitoring and evaluation of wildlife and habitat condition.
  • Increase awareness about biodiversity and its importance in local communities.
  • Provide training and capacity building for undertaking biodiversity research.

For more information, contact Joanne Millar at



Author: redpandabhutan

I am Project Leader for Darwin Initiative funded project on "Sustainable rangeland management to protect red pandas and herder livelihoods in Bhutan"

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