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Conservation

On the tiger trail in Bhutan

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Bhutan’s 20,000 sq km unbroken tiger habitat, a mountainous landscape, can support 100 more adult tigers provided there is an abundance of wild ungulate prey to turn the predator’s attention away from the livestock that it seems to relish now.
Maple (Acer campbellii) and wax tree, or Scarlet rhus (Rhus succedanea), lend colour to the forest canopy. Forests cover 81 per cent of the country's 38,394 sq km area.
Maple (Acer campbellii) and wax tree, or Scarlet rhus (Rhus succedanea), lend colour to the forest canopy. Forests cover 81 per cent of the country's 38,394 sq km area.Photo: A.J.T. JOHNSINGH
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The Thimphu dzong, the seat of government and the headquarters of the clergy.
The Thimphu dzong, the seat of government and the headquarters of the clergy.Photo: A.J.T. JOHNSINGH
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The Himalayan woodbine (Parthenocissus himalayana), a climber, filled the forest canopy with patches of red last October, indicating the early onset of winter.
The Himalayan woodbine (Parthenocissus himalayana), a climber, filled the forest canopy with patches of red last October, indicating the early onset of winter.Photo: A.J.T. JOHNSINGH
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Cattle, such as this, left unattended in the forest are vulnerable to predation. On an average, 52 head of cattle are killed by tigers in a year, and the compensation paid on this account is around Nu.2,48,000 (one Nu is equivalent to one rupee).
Cattle, such as this, left unattended in the forest are vulnerable to predation. On an average, 52 head of cattle are killed by tigers in a year, and the compensation paid on this account is around Nu.2,48,000 (one Nu is equivalent to one rupee).Photo: A.J.T. JOHNSINGH
4/15
Where cultivation of crops is adjacent to forests, as seen here, raids on crops by wild animals have emerged as a serious problem.
Where cultivation of crops is adjacent to forests, as seen here, raids on crops by wild animals have emerged as a serious problem.Photo: A,J,T. JOHNSINGH
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A sub-adult goral on a hill slope.
A sub-adult goral on a hill slope.Photo: A.J.T.JOHNSINGH
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A view of the wildlife habitat. It is suggested that the pressure on the habitat from a growing population can be reduced by encouraging every household and village in the wildlife habitat to grow its own fodder and firewood.
A view of the wildlife habitat. It is suggested that the pressure on the habitat from a growing population can be reduced by encouraging every household and village in the wildlife habitat to grow its own fodder and firewood.Photo: A.J.T. JOHNSINGH
7/15
Ripening maple leaves and a sparkling stream. Landlocked Bhutan has four major river systems that flow into India and eventually drain into the Brahmaputra.
Ripening maple leaves and a sparkling stream. Landlocked Bhutan has four major river systems that flow into India and eventually drain into the Brahmaputra.Photo: A.J.T. JOHNSINGH
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A sambar fawn. The sambar has been found to be the most suitable prey for the tiger not only because of its large size but also because of its preference, similar to the tiger's, for dense cover.
A sambar fawn. The sambar has been found to be the most suitable prey for the tiger not only because of its large size but also because of its preference, similar to the tiger's, for dense cover.Photo: Sangay Dorji
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In the mountainous tracts of Bhutan it will not be an exaggeration to say that sambar conservation is tiger conservation.
In the mountainous tracts of Bhutan it will not be an exaggeration to say that sambar conservation is tiger conservation.Photo: Sangay Wangchuck
10/15
A view of the Puna Tsang Chu, known as the Sankosh in India, near Wangdue. The Bhutanese make serious efforts to keep the landscape and waterways clean. For instance, washing of either vehicles or clothes in streams, rivers and other water bodies is a punishable offence. A recent rule is that every vehicle going through Bhutan should have a garbage bag. This is to prevent discarding of garbage along roads.
A view of the Puna Tsang Chu, known as the Sankosh in India, near Wangdue. The Bhutanese make serious efforts to keep the landscape and waterways clean. For instance, washing of either vehicles or clothes in streams, rivers and other water bodies is a punishable offence. A recent rule is that every vehicle going through Bhutan should have a garbage bag. This is to prevent discarding of garbage along roads.Photo: A.J.T. JOHNSINGH
11/15
The takin, the national animal of Bhutan, is found in the higher altitudes where it is an important prey of the tiger.
The takin, the national animal of Bhutan, is found in the higher altitudes where it is an important prey of the tiger.Photo: Nature Conservation Division, Thimphu
12/15
The first camera-trap picture of a tiger at 2,765 metres, in the Thrumshingla National Park.
The first camera-trap picture of a tiger at 2,765 metres, in the Thrumshingla National Park.Photo: Phot Prahlad Yonzon
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The wild pig, because of its wide occurrence, contributes more as prey for tigers. It also causes greater damage to crops than any other wild ungulate.
The wild pig, because of its wide occurrence, contributes more as prey for tigers. It also causes greater damage to crops than any other wild ungulate.Photo: A.J.T. JOHNSINGH
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The wild pig.
The wild pig.Photo: A.J.T. JOHNSINGH
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