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Transect walk (A case study)

Updated on October 18, 2014

Members involved in carrying out this activities

1. Sonam Tobgay

2. Sonam Choidup

3. Sonam Younten

4. Sonam Drupchu

5. Sonam Dendup

6. Tashi Phuntsho

What is transect walk?

A transect walk is a tool for describing and showing the location and distribution of resources, features, landscape, main land uses along a given transect. . It further allow participants to identify constraints and opportunities with specific reference to locations or particular ecosystems situated along the transect. Once completed, transect maps depict geographic features (e.g. infrastructure, local markets, schools) as well as land use types and vegetation zones, problems and opportunities observed or perceived along a transect line. This is an optional PRA exercise to use during the CF initiation process. Any rough map produced will also be useful for preparing a sketch map of the proposed CF area.

Transect walk

Objective of carrying out transect walk

  • To understand the general physical features of the village and the forest area
  • To find the soil and vegetation types at different points
  • To find the strength and weakness of the area falling within the transit

Equipments used

  • Transit walk data entry format
  • GPS
  • Camera

Criteria for observation

  • Structure
  • Public transit access points
  • Non-governmental organizations and institutions
  • Water and waste
  • Location of health facilities
  • Land use type
  • Type of crop/trees
  • Type of forest and soil
  • Livestock and grazing


  1. Planning of the transit walk route
  2. Proceeded the transit walk slowly from the block five of upper hostel of CNR by using GPS
  3. Stopping at each new zone (noting the distance from the last starting point)
  4. Examining the area for the observation criteria and filling up of transit walk data format
  5. Stopping to talk with the residents in the area

Checklist for Transect Walk

Structure – What are the type and location of the structures?

Land use – What are the types of land use?

Soil type – What type of soil?

Crop/trees – what are the type of cereal crops/vegetables and type of trees?

Livestock – What are the type of livestock? Any evidence of grazing?

Forest use type – What are the different types of forest use?

Waste – What are the type of waste?

Wildlife – What are the type of wildlife and evidence of wildlife?

NWFP – What are the type of NWFP available. Any potential for management?

Strengths – what are they e.g. good forest, regeneration, soil?

Weakness – what are they e.g. poor soil, no regeneration, etc?

General background of the selected area

Baarp Gewog consists of five chiwogs, with 723 households. It covers an area of about 24.65 (approx.) as per LCMP 2010 with elevations ranging from 1400 meters to 2100 meters above sea level. The gewog experiences an annual rainfall of about 500mm-1500mm approximately with the temperature ranging from 5 degree C-30 degree C.
The gewog lies in the sub-tropical region and experiences hot and humid summers with heavy rainfall during the monsoon months of June, July and August whereas winters are moderate.

The gewog is about twelve kms from Punakha Dzongkhag and is one of the most accessible gewogs. Paddy is the principle cereal crop in the gewog followed by spring wheat. Most households derive cash income from the sale of fruits, vegetables and rice. The fertile Lobesa valley offer promising opportunity for farm mechanization.

A bout 502 households are electrified and about 98% of the household have access to clean drinking water supply, although shortages of safe drinking water source still remains in the gewog. The population avail health services from Punakha, Wangdue Phodrang and Thimphu while the only sub-post at Lobesa renders maternal and child health including primary health care services.

Some of the infrastructure and amenities currently in place are:

Sl No Infrastructure Unit

1 RNR Centre 1

2 LSS 1

3 HSS 1

4 Community Centre 1

5 MPH 1

6 Lhakhangs/temples 7

Overview of the area

Transect 1: Findings

1. Structure: College of Natural Resources, approach road

2.Land use: Institutional land

3. Soil type: sandy clay

4. Crop/tree: Chirpine(Pinus roxburghii)

5. Forest use type: Avenue plantation

6. Waste: Diversed

7. Weakness: Waste management

8. Recommendations: Proper management of the waste and awareness on waste management

First transect line

Transect 2: Findings

1. Structure: satellite town and highway

2. Forest use type: Avenue plantation

3. Waste: Diversed

4. Weakness: Waste management

5. Recommendations: Proper waste management plan and strategies.

Second Transect line

Transect 3: Findings

1. Structure: Household, DHSS, approach road, chorten

2. Land use: Wet land, dry land, fallow land

3. Crop/trees: Paddy, vegetables, sugarcane, chirpine

4. Forest use type: Chirpine forest, Private plantation (Agave spp. and Jacaranda spp.)

5. Weakness: Under utilization of arable land

6. Recommendations: Research on under utilization of arable land

Third transect line

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Private plantation

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Transect 4: Findings

1. Structure: Transmission tower, water pipe line, footpath

2. crop/trees: chirpine

3. Livestock: cattle grazing evidence

4. Forest use type: Lops and tops collection with few felling

5. Waste: Litchi bottles, beer bottles, plastics

6. wildlife: evidence noted

7. strength: good regeneration

8. Weakness: forest fire, evidence noted

9. Recommendations: Retention of matured trees, clearance of trees felled on corridor, Awareness on forest fire prevention

Fourth transect line

Transmission corridor

Transect 5: Findings

1. Crop/trees: Chirpine, Quercus Qriffithii, Quercus Lanata, Rhus spp., Schima Wallichi and Lyonia Ovilifolia

2. Livestock: grazing evidence

3. Forest use type: mixed forest

4. Wildlife: evidence encountered

5. strength: harvestable timber

6. Recommendations: allotment of rural timber

Wildlife evidence

Fifth transect line

Transect 6: Findings

1. Crop/trees: Quercus Qriffithii, Quercus Lanata, Schima Wallichi, Lyonia Ovalifolia, Chirpine, Rhodo spp., Symplocus spp., and Castanopsis spp.

2. Livestock: grazing encountered

3. Forest use type: Broadleaved

4. NWFP: Bamboo and orchids

5. Strength: regeneration of bamboo

6. Recommendations: collection of NWFPs in a sustainable manner

Sixth Transect Line



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    • eljo profile image

      Joel Sumaban Pardillo 

      3 years ago from Philippines

      transect walk is useful only in determining the present state of the land and its resources and its results can be affected by weather especially, the fauna.


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