The number of the critically-endangered White-bellied Herons in the country has bounced back to 27, after two years. This is according to the Annual Population Survey 2023 conducted in March this year. Out of the 27 herons, three are juveniles.
The number of White-bellied Herons had gone down to 22 in 2021 from 27 in 2020. There were 24 as of last year.
More than a hundred surveyors were deployed across basins of major rivers and other tributaries in the country to conduct the survey.
The White-bellied Herons are listed as Critically Endangered since 2008 because of their extremely small and rapidly declining population. According to the Royal Society for Protection of Nature, there are an estimated population of around 50 White-bellied Herons globally. Bhutan is among the only three countries in the world that host the endangered bird species.