Along Bhutan’s River Valleys to Find Black-Necked Cranes


On his final field inspection with the National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration (CRE), Geographer Keith Clarke writes about his experience in Bhutan and reflects on his eight-year term with CRE. National Geographic President and CEO Gary Knell is leading the CRE on a tour of the Himalayan country to meet with grantees, listen to briefings from government officials and environment groups, and observe science, exploration, and conservation in the field. The Society has funded nearly two dozen grants in Bhutan, two of which are active.

PHOBJIKA VALLEY, BHUTAN–CRE field excursions are always a whirlwind of exhausting travel and rapid information-absorption, interspersed with lifelong memory experiences and unforgettable in-your-face lessons about world geography. Earlier this week was no exception. We rose far later than usual, as there was no dawn animal watch—the previous day we rose at 5 to catch a glimpse of the white-bellied heron (Grus nigricollis). After a rousing breakfast presentation on the future of National Geographic from CEO and President Gary Knell, it was back to the buses for a 4-hour drive to the Phobjika Valley.

We drive in four buses, each named for one of the four dignities: Dragon, Tiger, Snow Lion, and our bus, Garuda. The —> Read More Here


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