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Tiger claws its way back in Bumdeling

… after almost two decades

Wildlife: It was a rare sight. A wild tiger roaming the forests of Lhuentse district under the Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary (BWS) was recently caught on camera, the first in almost two decades.

A fresh pug mark of a huge adult tiger was once recorded on top of Dongla Pass (3000 meters) in 1997 by the survey team fielded from Bhutan’s erstwhile Nature Conservation Division

This is in addition to Bhutan’s amazing 103 wild tigers recorded during the country’s national tiger survey released on Global Tiger Day 2015.

According to park officials, the recent resurfacing of the wild tiger in the sanctuary has demystified all anecdotal evidences from farmers. Although a single image of this magnificent species wasn’t found in BWS during the national tiger survey, the quest for evidence of tigers continued with numerous camera-trapping exercises. Hence, on May 30 this year, the majestic fauna was finally captured on camera at 3,124 meters above sea level. This is also the first image of a tiger in BWS.

Besides being hugely exciting, the officials said that the sighting further validates the need for further research to protect the tigers, manage human-wildlife conflict and strengthen patrolling through SMART roll out programs. “This in itself is an incredible achievement,” said the chief forest officer of BWS, Karma Tempa.

Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji
Lyonpo Yeshey Dorji

Agriculture minister, Yeshey Dorji, said in a statement published on the agriculture ministry’s website: “As one of the tiger range countries, Bhutan continues to play a very significant role in the long term survival of this majestic species. We are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the survival and persistence of this important majestic species.” He added: “If we fail to shoulder this responsibility, it is equivalent to breaching the trust entrusted upon us by our future generations. We carry this immense responsibility of ensuring that this magnificent creature continues to survive, thrive and persist.

Thumbs Up For Tigers

Bhutan also joined the global WWF digital thumps up for tigers campaign.

The aim of the campaign is to increase awareness of the status of tigers and the global Tx2 goal to double wild tigers by the year 2022. Tx2 = double tigers, and to double the number of humans engaged in this effort, this campaign will link the “T” for Tigers to Thumbs.

People supported the Tx2 effort with a photograph of not one, but two thumbs up! Thumbs x 2 = Tx2!  The theme of thumbs links perfectly to tigers, because each tiger’s stripe pattern is as unique to them as finger prints are to human.

Staff reporter

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