In a rare find, a group of tigers have been spotted in upper reaches of Arunachal Pradesh at a height of 3,500 metres!
It is interestingly as snow-clad mountains are usually not preferred by tigers for their den.
The sighting left many experts surprised as tigers were spotted at about 3,500 metres height in a snowy area. Generally, snowy and upper hill areas are not den of Indian tigers. Mostly, they move around deep forest and wet place. But it is kind of adaptation, a study has revealed.
Titled “First Photographic Record of Tiger Presence at Higher Elevations of the Mishmi hills in the Eastern Himalayan Biodiversity Hotspot, Arunachal Pradesh, India”, the study was published in the Journal of Threatened Taxa on November 26.
A scientist involved in the research said the next phase of the study would confirm the animal’s existence at even higher altitudes.
Through camera documentation, a total of 11 tigers have been found in the upper reaches of Arunachal Pradesh’s Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary and the Mishmi Hill range, which is 3,630 metres high, the expert added.
The three-year study, conducted by Aisho Sharma Adhikarymayum and GV Gopi of the Wildlife Institute of India, says that protection of the newly discovered population is of utmost priority. The animal is not often thought to live in higher altitude areas.
The study was conducted after members of Arunachal Pradesh’s Idu Mishmi tribe told the forest department of having spotted three tiger cubs in the Dibang Valley in December 2012.
The tribe is known to have a deep respect for the animal, according to the English daily.
The Cubs were moved to Itanagar zoo, following which a preliminary survey was carried out. “Our study has revealed the first photographic evidence of tiger in the snow, after Russia’s Amur tigers,” Adhikarimayum told to media.
Two male tiger cubs were among the animals documented on the study’s 108 camera traps set up in “336km2 with 13,761 trap nights inside and outside the protected area”.