July 7, 2019

Teams installed 1,165 meters of electric fencing at four sacred monasteries to mitigate Himalayan black bear rampages.

The Bhutan Foundation’s Jomolhari snow leopard conservation program aims to uplift the livelihoods of communities while conserving the threatened snow leopard. With that mission in mind, we have worked closely with the Jigme Dorji National Park and communities there to implement a number of ongoing programs in the Jomolhari region—particularly in regards to addressing snow leopard predation on yaks. Apart from that threat however, these local communities have also reached out to share concerns about the repetitive rampaging of the sacred monasteries at Soe and Lingzhi by the Himalayan-black bear.

To mitigate this conflict, the Bhutan Foundation, in collaboration with the Jigme Dorji National Park, recently initiated a project to install 1,165 meters of electric fencing at four sacred monasteries in the region—in particular, Jomolhari monastery in Soe, Tandro, Gewphu, and Bjagoe monastery in Lingzhi. These temples play a pivotal role as a source of spiritual blessings and as pilgrimage destinations for both locals and visitors. This effort not only will support community needs in addressing wildlife conflict, but will also work to help preserve Bhutan’s cultural heritage sites.

The Bhutan Foundation also supported a one-day, hands-on training, provided by the technical team from JDNP, for volunteers overseeing the operation and maintenance of the electric fences. The communities of Yutoed, Yaksa, and Lingzhi lie along the Jomolhari trek. Yutoed has 28 households while Yaksa has 18, and Lingzhi has over 30.