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Territory in Namdapha is hostile: Principal Chief Conservator of Forests

GUWAHATI: The apprehension that the tiger is disappearing from the sprawling Namdapha Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh has been allayed after images of three tigers were secured during a recent tiger estimation and monitoring exercise that was carried out in the protested area during March 2 and April 14 this year using camera traps.
The Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife), Dr Yogesh informed that a team led by officials of Namdapha Tiger Reserve Management Authority, 20 camera traps were planted at different locations within the tiger reserve covering an area of about 44 sq.km in which images of three adult tigers were captured in cameras along with hundreds of leopards, clouded leopards, wild dogs, Asiatic golden cat.
The exercise was carried out in coordination with people from Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
Besides, ample numbers of scats were collected which have been sent to WII for analysis, raising hopes for presence of a tiger population in the protection area in Namdapha which had got negative limelight in the year 2006 about not having any concrete evidence of presence of tigers in view of ‘elimination’ of tigers in the area because of disturbances during 1990s.
Dr Yogesh informed that in an earlier camera trapping exercise carried out during 2012-13 by the Namdapha Tiger Reserve Management Authority in collaboration with Aaranyak, a nature conservation research organisation in the region, image of one adult tiger was captured from the core area and subsequent results of DNA analysis of scats samples established presence of tiger.
During 2013-14, tiger estimation carried out by officials of Namdapha Tiger Reserve management and Wildlife Institute of India captured one tiger in their camera along with images of many co-predators and preys. Subsequently, 29 numbers of scats samples were sent to WII for DNA analysis and found presence of two more tigers.
The senior forest official informed that disturbances like poaching and unwanted human movements within.
Namdapha tiger conservation area had gone down considerably of late after the forest department and Arunachal government took steps to address the grievances of hostile Lichu tribe people settled in the area.
He said there had been noticeable increase in the population of herbivores in the sanctuary which, definitely, would attract carnivores like tigers to the area. “The territory in Namdapha is hostile. Though the total area is about 1950 square kilometres, 30 % of it is snow clad and can’t be habituated by tigers. Out of the remaining 70 % area, about 800 square kilometre area is marked as disturbed due to various human activities. Virtually tigers can inhabit about 600 square kilometre area within the reserve. Ideally, about 10-12 tigers can roam around in this 600 square kilometre area sans any hitch,” the official said.

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