As they heard the first calls of the birds at dawn, forestry officer, Dorji Rabten and his wife Singye Wangmo sets out with a camera and binoculars to attend to the calling of the birds in Gelephu. The couple is going birding to compete in the first birdathon held in Bhutan on October 7. Dorji Rabten who is stationed in Thimphu drove to Gelephu on October 6 to join his wife who works as a forestry officer at the Royal Manas National Park (RMNP). They then drive to Tingtibe, the country’s hotspot for birds. “The competition is to encourage birding besides documenting natural history and bird diversity around this time as migration has begun,” UWICE ornithologist, Sherub said.

It was an occasion to celebrate when Similajau National Park (SNP) warden Alexander Thomas and his team came across 128 turtle eggs in a nest at ‘Turtle Beach 2’ during a routine beach survey last Saturday. According to Sarawak Forestry Corporation (SFC) records, the last recorded sighting of turtle eggs at SNP was in July 2010.

Scientists rarely discover mammals anymore – especially not ones as eccentric as noseless monkeys that sneeze every time it rains. But the critically endangered snub-nosed monkeys of Kachin State, discovered in 2010, were one of 211 new species found between 2009 and 2014 in the widely diverse slice of land hugging the eastern Himalayas, according to the World Wildlife Foundation.

Vietnam will cut visa fees for several types of international passport holders and overseas Vietnamese next month, in its latest effort to boost foreign arrivals. Starting November 23, the single-entry visa will cost US$25 instead of the current $45, whereas the fee for multiple-entry visas with validity of less than three months will drop from $95 to $50, according to a circular by the Ministry of Finance. “The visa fee adjustments are intended to boost tourism,” an official from the ministry’s tax policy department told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Tuesday. “We have referred to the visa fees in other regional countries to decide on the new rates for Vietnam.”

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