Conservation

Tiger tales from the Himalayas

Print edition : April 05, 2013

The first camera-trap picture of a tiger at 2,765 metres, in the Thrumshingla National Park. Photo: Phot Prahlad Yonzon

Maple (Acer campbellii) and wax tree, or Scarlet rhus (Rhus succedanea), lend colour to the forest canopy, which covers a vast area considering that 81 per cent of the country's 38,394 sq km area is forest. Photo: A.J.T. JOHNSINGH

This building in Thimpu, called the Thimphu dzong, is the seat of the government and headquarters of the clergy. Photo: A.J.T. JOHNSINGH

The Himalayan woodbine (Parthenocissus himalayana), a climber, provided patches of red to the forest canopy in October last year, indicating an early onset of winter. Photo: A.J.T. JOHNSINGH

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

Cultivation of crops adjacent to forests, as seen here, has resulted in the serous problem of wild animals raiding crops. Photo: A,J,T. JOHNSINGH

A sub-adult goral on a hill slope. Photo: A.J.T.JOHNSINGH

A view of the wildlife habitat. The pressure on the habitat from a growing population can be, it has been suggested, reduced by encouraging every household and village in the wildlife habitat to grow its own fodder and firewood at the doorstep. Photo: A.J.T. JOHNSINGH

Ripening maple leaves and a sparkling stream. Landlocked Bhutan has four major river systems that drain out into India and eventually into the Brahmaputra. Photo: A.J.T. JOHNSINGH

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

In the mountainous tracts of Bhutan it will not be an exaggeration to say that sambar conservation is tiger conservation. Photo: Sangay Wangchuck

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

The takin, the national animal of Bhutan, is found in the higher altitudes where it is an important prey of tiger. Photo: Nature Conservation Division, Thimphu

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

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

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.

    Related Articles

    This article is closed for comments.
    Please Email the Editor
    ×