Annual Tiger Census to Start in Arunachal Pradesh this Month

Namdapha Tiger Reserve
Ramki Sreenivasan
Encroachments and poaching have been serious threats for tigers in Namdapha

The annual tiger census in Arunachal Pradesh will be conducted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) this month. The tiger numbers in Namdapha and Pakke, the two tiger reserves in Arunachal, would be determined using scientific methods and reputed NGOs are to be involved in the process. The NTCA will provide all the equipment necessary as well as the training required for the field staff. Camera traps are to be placed at a distance of 1 km for 35 to 60 days at a single location to trap images. World Wildlife Fund-India (WWF India) will be involved in Pakke, while Aaranyak will be involved in Namdapha. Namdapha is unique that it has four big cats — tiger, leopard, snow leopard and clouded leopard. The 2001-2002 census had estimated that Namdapha had 11 tigers, whereas the 2006 census showed only four. The decline in tigers in Namdapha is attributed to the encroachment of the park’s buffer zone by 84 families of the Lisus tribe from China, who are said to be good tiger hunters. Pakke is said to have 9 tigers.

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