Small Collections Grant

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Strengthening botanical information and knowledge base through processing of specimen backlogs and incorporating into THIM collections.

Rinchen Yangzom


Process backlog

Cost: $



National Herbarium, National Biodiversity Centre


Primary objective: To strengthen botanical information and knowledge base for enhancement of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use in the country
Specific objectives of the project are:
1. To improve botanical collections at the National Herbarium
2. To enhance collection management
3. To generate additional botanical information and reference and identify any potential new record.
Project output: 6000 specimens sorted, mounted, cataloged and deposited in the National Herbarium.


The National Herbarium has the potential to lead plant systematic research in the country since it’s the only internationally recognized facility for plant systematic works in the country. The National holds representative collections of the plant species found in the country, providing opportunities for discovery of plant species new to Bhutan or Science. However, currently the work of the National Herbarium is mostly limited to explorations and collections since it faces challenges in the accurate determinations of species due to limited taxa specific experts. National Herbarium (THIM) currently houses over 20,000 specimens mostly of vascular plants classified according to Engler and Prantle system of classifications. The collections include angiosperms, gymnosperms, pteridophytes and bryophytes of Bhutan.
Additionally, over 6000 specimen backlog consists of collections by John Richard Ironside Wood (J.R.I. Wood) from 1987 to 1992, Rose King (R. King) in 1998, Simon Bowes Lyon in 2003 and several other collections by Bhutanese collectors. While most of the specimens were incorporated into the collections, several specimens required the taxa specific expertise for species determinations particularly species from subtropical regions of the country. This current project will make it possible to hire plant taxonomists, particularly who is specialized in subtropical flora to work on the backlog of specimens at THIM.


Two plant taxonomists with more than 10 years of experiences working in the fields of plant taxonomy and one research assistant with good experience in data documentation and specimen processing.
With the funding for the project in hand, we will be able to start right away with advertisement for the work. Within a period of one month, the two experts and the research assistant will be hired. The project activities will be planned to complete within three months of work assignment.
Project activities:
-Sorting of specimens from the backlog – three hired personal will be involved and complete within a week.
-Species determinations- the experts will identify the species over three months.
-Mounting specimen- by research assistant over three months.
-Labeling-create label for each specimen by assistant over three months.
-Cataloging - a unique identifying number assigned over three months.
-Data documentation-data entry into Bhutan biodiversity specimen portal over three months.
-Storage -collections organized according to the Engler and Prantle system of classification and stored in the National Herbarium and completed by three months.

Referee 1:

Dr. Dinesh Agrawal

Referee 2:

Dr. David Long

Scoring Rubric

Your name:

Collection Improvement/Maintenance


1.  Contribution to the generation of digital herbarium data (digitization: data entry, setting up database structure, purchasing equipment).

2.  Contribution to enhancing our understanding of the flora by making new herbarium specimens available (processing of backlog).

3.  Contribution to enhancing our understanding of the flora by making new herbarium specimens available (shipping endangered collection to another herbarium).

4. Contribution towards improving conservation status of specimens in herbarium (better folders, protecting covers, mounting paper, labeling, etc.).

This proposal scores:


IAPT community building


5.  Herbarium's potential for success.

6.  Perceived need, extent to which the project will benefit from IAPT funding.
7. Sharing specimens with other herbaria.

This proposal scores:


Broader Impacts

8. The project will yield durable benefits (specimens, digitized metadata, databases, websites).

9. The proposed project involves outreach/mentoring and broad dissemination.

This proposal scores:


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