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COUNTING TIGERS IN HIGH ALTITUDE REGIONS

Written by Talent KAS

Related Topics: Environment & Biodiversity, Global Tiger Forum

News

  • Studies which was conducted earlier this year, had reported the presence of tigers in high altitude regions in India.
  • Next year, Experts from India, Nepal and Bhutan — under the aegis of their governments — will begin a detailed assessment on how entrenched tigers are, in these regions.

Key Findings

  • A study jointly conducted by three countries had established that there were 52,671 sq.km. of tiger habitat in high altitudes or Himalayan habitats of India, Nepal and Bhutan.
  • 38,915 square kilometres of this habitat lay in India.
  • Potential high altitude tiger landscapes include the Valmiki-Chitwan-Annapurna (India-Nepal), Manas-Royal Manas-Jigme Dorji (India-Bhutan); Neora Valley-Torsa-Buxa-Phibsu (India-Bhutan); Askot-Pithoragarh-Nandhaur-Suklaphanta (India-Nepal); and Arunachal-Sikkim-bordering Bhutan (India-Bhutan).

Tiger Distribution in India

  • While India is home to the most number of tigers in the world, most of them are focussed in Central India and the Western Ghats.
  • The latest tiger survey estimated 2,967 tigers all over India.
  • Camera traps laid in select districts of Uttarakhand, Sikkim, North Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh to detect the presence of tigers in higher altitudes found only three — two in Sikkim and one in Uttarakhand.
  • In previous years, tigers have been reported in Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal at elevations of 1765m, 3274 m and 2400 m respectively.
  • Bhutan had recorded the presence of a tiger at 4,210 m.

Significance

  • Recording the presence of tigers in high altitudes is important to judge the health of the species as poaching and fragmented habitat are serious challenges to their population growth.
  • As part of a “high altitude tiger master plan”, gathering background information on land attributes, ascertaining status of protection and engaging local communities in tiger conservation is critical.

[Source: The Hindu, globaltigerforum.org]

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Talent KAS

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