Close on the heels of sighting in Namdapha Reserve Forest ( Arunachal Pradesh, India) the tiger has been confirmed to be roaming in another protected area in Mizoram. Presence has been confirmed in the 550 square km Dampa Tiger Reserve (DTR) in western Mizoram on the Bangladesh border.
This survey was undertaken as part of the all-India Phase IV tiger monitoring programme initiated by the National Tiger Conservation Authority of India (NTCA). The exact number of tigers in Dampa is not yet clear, but the last census in 2012 had put the figure at five. “We are yet to confirm the exact number of tigers present in the reserve. We have used DNA-based analysis techniques for identifying tiger faecal samples,” said Laltlanhlua Zathang, Dampa Tiger Reserve’s field director.
Tiger Reserve is a bio-diversity hotspot with a variety of flora and fauna of Indo-Malayan origin. The National Tiger Reserve Authority (NTRA) has categorised Dampa as a low-density tiger reserves
“Most of the reserve is inaccessible due to hilly terrain and dense forest. The DNA analyses of the samples have confirmed that there is a presence of the big cat in the reserve. Now, we are going to use the camera trapping method to find out the exact number of tigers there,” said Dr. Anupam Sharma, a WWF official working on the project.
following a field survey and DNA analysis of scat samples collected from the protected area. The faecal samples were put to DNA analysis in the wildlife genetic laboratory of Aaranyak, a leading society for biodiversity conservation in northeast India recognised by the Ministry of Science and Technology as a Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (SIRO).
Laltlanhlua Zathang, said 27 scat samples on carnivores were collected during a joint field survey in the reserve from March 7 to 9. “I have received information from Aaranyak that their DNA laboratory has confirmed that nine of the samples were that of tiger. It is very encouraging news,” he said.
According to Udayan Borthakur, Head of the Wildlife Genetics Programme of Aaranyak, efforts were on to find out the number of tigers present in Dampa through the use of DNA fingerprinting.