Arunachal Pradesh: Snow Tigers Spotted At 3,630 Metres In Dibang Valley
Tigers are one of the most majestic creatures. However, in recent time their number has been dwindling. However, these striped creatures have been spotted at a very unlikely place. A three-year camera trap study has reported the presence of tigers in the snow-clad Dibang valley in Arunachal Pradesh. At 3,630 metres, this is possibly the highest spot where tigers have been sighted, as per Aisho Sharma Adhikarimayum, a scientist at Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
Clueless on how cubs landed in valley
According to The Indian Express, these tiger cubs were spotted by the villagers near the Dibang Valley District, at Arunachal Pradesh who later informed to the forest department. However, both the villagers and the scientists are clueless as to how these cubs landed in the valley. It may be noted that area where these tigers have been found, is not a designated tiger reserve.
In 2014, the Wildlife Indian Institute lead by PhD scholar Gopi and research scholar Aisho Sharma Adhikarimayum conducted a study, from 2014 to 2017 on these tigers by laying 108 cameras on the valley, out of which the camera has spotted 11 tigers during the survey administered by the institute. This study was published in the Journal of Threatened Taxa on November 26.
“In Bhutan, in the Eastern Himalayas, tigers have been spotted at an altitude of 4,200 metres,” Gopi said. “Once we survey the upper reaches of Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary (DWS), the more high-altitude areas, we are hopeful we will find tiger population even above 4,200 metres,” he said to Hindustan Times.
The survey of Tigers started in 2012 when two tiger cubs were spotted by the Idu Mishmi Tribe. This tribe which has deep respect towards nature, informed the forest department about their moment, who later on captured them and moved to Itanagar zoo, 900 km away from the place.
Evidence of tigers residing at higher altitudes
As per Financial Express, a preliminary survey was laid out by the WII in collaboration with National Tiger Conservation Authority in 2014, which led to confirmation by the authorities that tigers did reside in the higher ranges of Mishmi hills.
Gopi also said to Financial express that they had captured the partial image of the tiger through their cameras, where the main take away was the Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary, in which most of Mishmi hills are located at the highest range for the Tigers in the country.
According to Times of India, the camera has captured the image of the tiger at the height of 3,360 meters, which might be one of the highest spots at which the cats have spotted. However, according to the researcher’s tiger sightings have been located at 4000 height at Uttarakhand but without any conclusive evidence to back it up, so right now tigers do exist at the height above 3,360 metres in the Indian part of the eastern Himalayas. Arunachal Pradesh houses rarest species like tiger, snow leopard, Golden cat and Marbled cat.