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Wildlife Experts Doubt Bhutan’s Claim On Tigers’ Routes

Wildlife Experts Doubt Bhutan’s Claim On Tigers’ Routes

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  26 April 2019 12:59 AM GMT

GUWAHATI: Wildlife experts in the North East have disagreed with Bhutan’s claim that tigers from that country could move frequently to Kaziranga National Park and Namdapha National Park in Arunachal Pradesh.

A report of the ‘National Tiger Survey’ of Bhutan has found that on a regional scale, Bhutan serves as an important tiger source area with the potential to generate populations. The report says that tigers from Bhutan could move towards the Manas tiger reserve in Assam through the Royal Manas National Park and the Zhemgang division; the Kaziranga National Park in Assam and the Namdapha National Park in Arunachal Pradesh through the Sakteng wildlife sanctuary, the Jhomotshangkha wildlife sanctuary and the Samdrup Jongkhar division.

Bhutan, a small neighbouring foreign country, has more than 110 tigers. The national tiger survey was conducted in between 2013 and 2015.

“Going by the geographical characteristics of the North East, it is a very remote possibility that tigers could move from the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan to Kaziranga and Namdapha,” an expert at the Department of Environmental Science in Gauhati University, said.

The expert said the tigers could come once in a lifetime but moving frequently looks difficult.

On other hand, wildlife biologists said even though a tiger can travel long distances in search of potential habitat, a tiger from Kaziranga has more potential to move to Nameri-Pakke than from Bhutan.

“It is not that easy for the movement of a tiger from one landscape to another. Many hurdles such as human settlements, land-use change and habitat change come in the way of such movement,” a wildlife biologist said, adding that future study using GPS collars may throw more light on a tiger’s travel routes.

According to the Bhutan’s survey report, the other areas from where a tiger in the neighbouring country can move to within India are the Buxa tiger reserve in West Bengal and the Kanchenjunga conservation area in Sikkim.

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