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Current Affairs

India-Bhutan high altitude tiger survey

Date: 28 September 2019 Tags: Biodiversity

Issue

The government of India along with that of Nepal and Bhutan will conduct a detailed survey to determine tiger habitat in the high altitude region of Himalayas.

 

Background

Earlier studies conducted by the authorities had found out that there were tiger habitats in the high altitude areas of Himalayas including Bhutan, Nepal and India. A detailed study will be taken up to assess the exact number of tigers present.

 

Details

  • A study jointly conducted by experts from three countries had, in a report this month, established that there were potentially 52,671 square kilometres of tiger habitat in high altitudes or Himalayan habitats of India, Nepal and Bhutan out of which 38,915 square kilometres of this habitat lay 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, made public earlier this year estimated 2,967 tigers all over India.

  • 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.

  • 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).

Importance

Recording the presence of tigers in high altitudes is important to judge the health of the species, as poaching and fragmented habitat is serious challenges to their population growth.