Phuntsho Thinley

Phuntsho Thinley
University of New England (Australia) | UNE · Ecosystem Management

Doctor of Philosophy

About

51
Publications
36,057
Reads
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592
Citations
Citations since 2017
28 Research Items
446 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080100
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100
Introduction
As a Wildlife Ecologist/Zoologist, wildlife conservation is my passion. Because we live in a shared landscape, I will do my best to give voice to those creatures which cannot speak out their sufferings.
Additional affiliations
March 2018 - present
University of New England (Australia)
Position
  • PostDoc Position
September 2016 - February 2018
Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment
Position
  • Research Officer
January 2013 - August 2016
RNR-Research and Development Center
Position
  • Research Officer
Education
August 2008 - January 2014
Cornell University
Field of study
  • Natural Resources (Human-wildlife interactions)
January 2006 - May 2008
Cornell University
Field of study
  • Natural Resources (Protected Area Management)
April 1998 - April 2002
University of the Philippines Los Baños
Field of study
  • Forestry and Natural Resources

Publications

Publications (51)
Article
Full-text available
In Bhutan, protected areas constitute 51.4% of the total geographical area, out of which 7.7% is designated biological corridors (BCs) that serve as connectors between protected areas. The biological corridor (BC-03) constitutes a total area of 407.7 km² and connects Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary in the west, Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park a...
Article
Full-text available
Hawkmoths are a charismatic, diverse group of moths that are well-studied worldwide. In this study, we explored and presented the first ever comprehensive hawkmoth checklist for Tashigang Forest Division, Bhutan with five new taxa records for the country. We conducted fauna exploration over a period of five years (2017-2021). Data were collected op...
Article
Full-text available
A rarely recorded small carnivore, the Spotted linsang (Prionodon pardicolor), is among Asia's least studied members of the family Prionodontidae. We report the first photographic evidence of its presence from the Tashigang Forest Division of eastern Bhutan. A non-invasive camera trap survey during the nationwide tiger survey in 2014-2015 and an op...
Article
In the absence of systematic research institutions and local or long-term resident systematists added by Buddhist culture that discourages lethal sampling of animals, scientific collections are particularly sparse in Bhutan. Consequently, less charismatic taxa such as the reptile and amphibian fauna of Bhutan, including the Eastern-Himalayas, are p...
Chapter
Full-text available
) Understanding Human–Canid Conflict and Coexistence: Socioeconomic Correlates Underlying Local Attitude and Support Toward the Endangered Dhole (Cuon alpinus) in Bhutan.
Preprint
Full-text available
Bhutan has a total geographical area of 38,394 Km² located in between the Indo-Malayan and Palearctic region, out of which 51.44% (19750.75 km²) of its total geographical area has been designated as the protected area. However, none of the districts have a structured baseline checklist of mammal species documented till date. Therefore, Sarpang Fore...
Article
Full-text available
The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is one of the world's most elusive felids. In Bhutan, which is one of the 12 countries where the species still persists, reliable information on its distribution and habitat suitability is lacking, thus impeding effective conservation planning for the species. To fill this knowledge gap, we created a country-wide s...
Thesis
Full-text available
Collective actions and traditional institutions play important role in the effective management of community forests in Bhutan. Collective actions depend on community vitality and availability of man power. Traditional institutions have been playing significant role on the protection and conservation of forests in Bhutan. In the north western part...
Article
Full-text available
Birds are ecological indicators of ecosystem health. Baseline information on bird diversity are, therefore, important for ecological monitoring. Such information is, however, sorely lacking for many areas outside the protected areas. Here, we explore the avian diversity and present a comprehensive checklist for the non-protected regions of Trashiya...
Article
Full-text available
A recent camera trap survey of tigers Panthera tigris in Sarpang Forest Division, located in south-central Bhutan, revealed an increase in tiger number by four individuals. Previously only one individual has been recorded. This finding affirms the functionality of Bhutan’s biological corridors and depicts a promising future for tigers in Bhutan.
Article
Full-text available
Understanding human-canid conflict and coexistence must focus on documenting human-canid interactions and identifying the underlying drivers of reciprocal human attitude which enables appropriate strategies to minimize conflict and forge coexistence. The dhole (Cuon alpinus), Asia's most widely distributed wild canid, is highly threatened by human...
Article
Full-text available
Most canids face population declines and range contractions worldwide. Although the dhole (Cuon alpinus) is widely distributed across 10 countries in South and Southeast Asia, limited studies exist on this species. Despite its globally “Endangered” status and ecological role as an apex predator, assessments on its distribution are limited to a few...
Article
Full-text available
Protected area networks (PAN) are essential for conserving wide‐ranging apex predators but their adequacy in species protection has rarely been assessed. Here, we assess the adequacy of Bhutan's PAN in conserving and providing connectivity to the endangered tiger (Panthera tigris). We determine the current extent of tiger habitat, predict new suita...
Article
Full-text available
Forest fire is an environmental disaster that poses immense threat to public safety, infrastructure, and biodiversity. Therefore, it is essential to have a rapid and robust method to produce reliable forest fire maps, especially in a data-poor country or region. In this study, the knowledge-based qualitative Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and the...
Article
Threat assessment is critical to species conservation and management planning, because prior identification and assessment of key threats to conservation planning can assist in developing appropriate interventions or strategies. Comprehensive threat assessments are currently lacking for many threatened primates. In this paper, we classify and rank...
Article
Full-text available
The distribution of the Vulnerable Bengal loris (Nycticebus bengalensis) in Bhutan is poorly known, mainly because of its nocturnal and arboreal habits. IUCN has omitted Bhutan as a Bengal loris range country despite its reported occurrence in the country by a few studies. To comprehensively document sightings of this species in Bhutan, we intervie...
Article
Full-text available
Small mammals have multiple ecological roles and are important components of the terrestrial ecosystems. They are important ecological indicators of changes in the natural surroundings. However, little is known about the small mammals in Bhutan. We conducted this study in the Bumdeling Ramsar Site in eastern region of Bhutan, aimed at enhancing our...
Article
Reliable population estimates are lacking for many South Asian primate species, including the golden langur (Trachypithecus geei), which is endangered and restricted to Bhutan and northeast India. Although well studied in India, few studies exist on this species in Bhutan. In November 2017, we undertook a nationwide survey of golden langurs in Bhut...
Book
Full-text available
The snow leopard is an apex predator, an umbrella species, and a flagship species of the alpine ecosystems of the Himalaya. In Bhutan, the snow leopard is considered a ‘precious animal’ by upland communities, and revered as a mountain deity. Despite its vast range distribution in the Himalaya and central Asia, snow leopards are listed as ‘Vulnerabl...
Article
Reliable population estimates are lacking for many South Asian primate species, including the golden langur (Trachypithecus geei), which is endangered and restricted to Bhutan and northeast India. Although well studied in India, few studies exist on this species in Bhutan. In November 2017, we undertook a nationwide survey of golden langurs in Bhut...
Article
Despite the golden langur’s (Trachypithecus geei) endangered and totally protected status, local awareness and attitude toward this species is poorly understood. We investigated local awareness and attitude in Bhutan by interviewing 1,143 households in the districts of Dagana, Sarpang, Trongsa, Tsirang, and Zhemgang, and analyzing data through a co...
Article
Ecologists have primarily focused their attention on how predator loss influences ecosystem structure and function in intact ecosystems, but rarely tested these ecological concepts in agricultural landscapes. We conducted a study in western Bhutan on the inter-specific dynamics between tigers, leopards, and dholes, and their subsequent impact on li...
Article
Full-text available
Context: Advances have been made in the development of reliable methods for estimating the abundance and density of large threatened mammalian predators, but there is little progress on developing population estimates for their principal prey. No standardised protocol for estimating prey populations exists, therefore different researchers use diffe...
Article
There is little information on the underlying causes of wildlife crop damage, especially in agro-pastoralist communities situated close to, or inside, protected areas that are frequented by domestic livestock. Knowledge on wild ungulate distribution near crop field boundaries, and how it is affected by cattle that dominate the landscape, may offer...
Article
Full-text available
The Dhole is a little-studied wild canid with decreasing populations throughout its global range. We conducted this study in Bhutan’s Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP) to establish baseline records of Dhole distribution and habitat use. We used trail transects and recorded animal presence via tracks, scats, direct sightings and camera traps. Ancilla...
Article
Full-text available
As in many developing countries, agro-pastoralism is the major form of livelihood for rural communities in the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. Although livestock rearing is part and parcel of rural Bhutanese agricultural system, Bhutan also has a high percentage of natural forest cover that supports a diversity of endangered wild predators. The loss o...
Book
Full-text available
In August 2014, the first nation-wide snow leopard survey began with sign and prey-base survey (Phase I) across all possible areas of occurrence in Bhutan: Jigme Khesar Strict Nature Reserve, northern part of Paro Territorial Forest Division, Jigme Dorji National Park, Wangchuck Centennial National Park, Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary and Sakteng Wil...
Book
Full-text available
The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is a top predator and a flagship species for the alpine ecosystems. In recognition of its endangered status, this rare cat species receives maximum protection. It is listed in Appendix I of CITES and Schedule I of the Forest and Nature Conservation Act of Bhutan 1995. In Bhutan, snow leopard conservation is guide...
Article
Full-text available
Wild tiger populations have rapidly declined in most of the range countries, and there is an urgent need to reliably estimate their numbers for effective management. The use of remotely-triggered camera traps has proven to be an efficient method to sample populations of highly elusive animals such as tigers. In addition, the spatially-explicit capt...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Spatio-temporal occurrences and distribution of a full complement of wild predators may provide insights into their ecology and niche partitioning, and thus may be invaluable for conservation of many rare species. A first comprehensive camera trapping effort, including 7,462 trap-days during fall and winter of 2011–2012 in the temperate and subalpi...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Wild tiger populations have rapidly declined in most of the range countries, and there is an urgent need to reliably estimate their numbers for effective management. The use of remotely-triggered camera traps has proven to be an efficient method to sample populations of highly elusive animals such as tigers. In addition, the spatially-explicit capt...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In recognition of the sheer ecological and cultural significance of tigers in Bhutan, the Government has conducted the National Tiger Survey from 2014 to 2015 to reliably estimate tiger abundance and density in the country. Latest survey methods and equipment, such as Spatial Capture-Recapture (SCR) estimation methods and advanced models of camera...
Article
Full-text available
Spatio-temporal occurrences and distribution of a full complement of wild predators may provide insights into their ecology and niche partitioning, and thus may be invaluable for conservation of many rare species. A first comprehensive camera trapping effort, including 7,462 trap-days during fall and winter of 2011–2012 in the temperate and subalpi...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The endangered snow leopard (Panthera uncia) is distributed in 12 Asian countries, spanning from Central Asia to the Himalayas. Poaching, retaliatory killing, habitat degradation, and declining prey populations threaten its survival in all the range countries. Studying the snow leopard is notoriously difficult, mainly because of its cryptic nature,...
Article
Full-text available
During a recent camera trap survey of snow leopards Panthera uncia in Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP) in Bhutan, several photographs of a Pallas’s cat Otocolobus manul were captured. This is the first photographic evidence of a Pallas’s cat in the park and the second evidence of its presence in Bhutan after the first photographic evidence was coll...
Article
Full-text available
We determined the seasonal diet of dholes (Cuon alpinus) in northwestern Bhutan in 2009. Results showed that large (>75kg) ungulate species, primarily sambar (Cervus unicolor), were main part of the diet in both the wet and dry seasons. In contrast, small (20–30kg) ungulate species comprised only 10% of the biomass consumed in both seasons. Cattle...
Article
Full-text available
In an unprecedented response to the rapid decline in wild tiger populations, the Heads of Government of the 13 tiger range countries endorsed the St. Petersburg Declaration in November 2010, pledging to double the wild tiger population. We conducted a landscape analysis of tiger habitat to determine if a recovery of such magnitude is possible. The...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A study of the pattern of co-occurrence among wild animal species using spatial analysis of their occurrence points is a new concept. Bhutan has many species of mammalian predators of which tigers (Panthera tigris), leopards (Panthera pardus), dholes (Cuon alpinus), and Himalayan black bears (Ursus thibetanus) have been reported to kill livestock p...
Technical Report
Full-text available
There are increasing numbers of scientific publications supporting the seemingly cliché in conservation biology that habitat loss and fragmentation are the driving forces of rapid biodiversity loss across the globe. In the wave of efforts to counter the effects of fragmentation and in search for effective ways to provide connectivity between wildli...

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