The National Herbarium organized one day training on Herbarium Techniques at the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary (SWS), Phongmay on June 7, 2013. About 30 forestry officials from all Range and Beat offices under the SWS and NBC team attended the training. The primary objectives of the training were to standardize herbarium techniques across the country and strengthen ecological data collections.
Further, a small herbarium unit was also established at headquarter of the SWS, Phongmay. It was unanimously decided that Mr. Jangchuk Wangdi, Forest Ranger, will look after the floral specimen collections for documentation of the floral diversity within the SWS. A herbarium focal person from each range was also identified to carry this endeavor forward.
The training participants were introduced to the herbarium techniques at international level, various equipments used and some taxonomy tips for identifications of plants. The practical session included a hands-on training on collecting, pressing and mounting of specimens.
Most of the participants echoed the same feedback that although they were briefly introduced to herbarium techniques during their training periods in their respective institutes, it was the first time that such techniques were explained and demonstrated in detail. They also stated such exposure to herbarium techniques will be very useful to gather floral information for any floral research and publication in the sanctuary. However, it was felt one day training period was too short. Some SWS staffs were involved during the field work to make them understand the standard ecological data collections for floral research and taxonomic studies.
This was the first time such training has been organized by the center. Similar trainings will be organized in the future in various Parks and Institutes for nationwide herbarium technique standardization.