Related Topics: Environment & Biodiversity, Global Tiger Forum
- 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.
- 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.
- 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]