DADHELDHURA/ DHANGADI, April 14: Panthera Tigris has been spotted in the forest located along the Mahabharat Range in Dadedhdura, far western Nepal, at an altitude of 2,500 meters on Monday, authorities said.
Issuing a press statement, the Division Forest Office, Dadeldhura said that the tiger spotted at an altitude of 2,500 meters.
Confirming the news, the DFO stated that it is an unprecedented incident in the forestry history of Nepal to have this creature at such an altitude from the sea level.
“We are excited to share such a piece of news that footage of this endangered creature has been captured on the camera installed along the forest region, and we believe, it will be an exciting news for all the environmentalists and ecologists,” DFO further said.
With this, it has opened a new area of study on this species.
The office, however, said it couldn’t confirm whether the big cat is native to that place or migrated from other places for its prey. According to them, they are yet to have an in-depth study on it and analyze the data.
DFO had installed a total of 32 cameras since March 6 this year as an attempt to conduct research on wildlife along the forest at the Mahabharat Range as well as to confirm the presence of this species in the region.
Those cameras had been set up under the financial and technical assistance of World Wildlife Fund and Terai Arc Landscape Program.
This has proved that forest region in the district has been the habitat to abundant of wildlife, said Division Forest Officer Bishnu Prasad Acharya.
He also added that authorities concerned should be sincere towards the conservation of Mahabharat forest region to protect flora and fauna.
Conservations have stirred with excitement and shock after having found to spot tiger at the region where snowfall is common.
Spokesperson at Forest Ministry Sindhu Dhungana said that it has created a new opportunity for research and study. According to him, it has also proved that tigers are being conserved even in the community forests in the hilly region of Nepal.
“However, we have yet to conclude whether this species resides there or has come from another place,” he said adding that they will soon study about its habitat and prey.
According to Dhungana, it’s a matter of research as there is a common understanding that Panthera Tigris is commonly found either in Terai or inner Terai in Nepal. “It has raised many questions including one --- Is this happening due to climate change?” he said.
Forest and environment expert Ramesh Chanda said that the creature must have travelled up to the Mahabharat range in search of prey or partner. “However, an in-depth study is a must to confirm this,” he said.
Listed as one of the endangered species, Bengal Tiger is found in 14 countries including Nepal. According to tiger counting conducted in 2018, there are 235 tigers in Nepal as confirmed by the Forest Ministry. Chitwan, Bardiya, Banke and Shunkaphanta National Parks are major places where tiger population have been reported. Nepal has a goal of increasing the tiger population by two times by 2022.
Below are some images of wild animals including tiger captured by the cameras installed in the forest areas: