Arunachal Pradesh : In what can be called as a significant development and great efforts on the part of the locals as well as environmentalists in collaboration with conservationists in India, a three year survey in Arunachal Pradesh’s Dibang Valley Wildlife Sanctuary has found photographic evidence of snow tigers residing 3630 metres above sea level in snow-clad peaks of the Eastern Himalayas, according to Time of India.
Snow tigers spotted in Arunachal Valley
Almost for two years, starting from 2015 to 2017, researchers at the Wildlife Institute of India ( WII), have been following for trails of the presence of snow tigers in what can be known as a ‘camera trap study’ to capture the presence of these wild cats in India’s highest reaches for possibly the first time.
However, Aisho Sharma Adhikarimayum of the WII, who conducted the study with fellow scientist GV Gopi, believes that these endangered tigers could be found at a higher elevation.
Rare Snow Tigers spotted in Arunachal Pradesh
“In the highest altitudes, two male tigers were captured at 3,246m and 3,630m. The latter elevation is the highest photographic evidence of tiger presence in the Indian part of the Eastern Himalayas,” Gopi told The Indian Express.
It was back in 2012 when researchers spotted an endangered snow tiger at an elevation of 4,200 metres above sea level (asl) in Bhutan. There is an excellent chance of finding these tigers beyond the 4000-metre asl level in the Dibang Valley say researchers to the Time of India.
Snow Tigers spotted in snow clad East Arunachal valley
There were reports of these endangered snow tigers to have been spotted in higher altitudes of Uttarakhand, but there have been no official proofs to support the claims.
Snow tigers found loitering in high elevation of Arunachal Pradesh
“In January 2014, our camera trap captured a partial image of [a] tiger,” said Gopi to TIE, adding that, “The chief takeaway from the survey was that the Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary in which the Mishmi Hills are located, holds one of the highest ranges for the tigers in the country.”
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These findings, published in the Journal of Threatened Taxa on November 26, are important for conservationists because it gives them a clearer picture about the areas inhabited by tigers, allowing them to take effective measures in the future.