A Royal Bengal Tiger has been sighted in the Pangalokha Wildlife Sanctuary in Sikkim roaming at an altitude of 3,640 meters (11,942 feet). The sighting, captured by the trap cameras of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) on December 10 is a historic first for the sanctuary.
The Pangalokha Wildlife Sanctuary at the tri-junction of Sikkim, Bengal, and Bhutan, spans a vast 128 square kilometers, making it the largest wildlife sanctuary in Sikkim. The BNHS team, collaborating with the Sikkim Forest Department, stumbled upon this extraordinary occurrence during their biodiversity assessment as part of the "Conservation and Use of Five Wetlands in three Himalayan states to secure Habitats of Birds Migrating within the Central Asian Flyway (CAF)" project.
Atharva Singh, a scientist associated with the BNHS survey, expressed the uniqueness of this sighting, stating, "To our knowledge, it's the first time a Royal Bengal Tiger has been spotted at such a high altitude. The tiger's presence suggests a potential corridor connecting the North Sikkim region to the adjoining Kyongnosla Alpine Sanctuary and Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan."
Speculating on the tiger's unusual habitat choice, Singh added, "The tiger may be utilizing the higher ranges of the sanctuary as a corridor to enter the forests of North Sikkim from Bhutan. Further long-term intensive monitoring studies are deemed necessary to gain a deeper understanding of tiger movement in the high-altitude region of the Sikkim Himalayas."
The Pangalokha Wildlife Sanctuary, rich in biodiversity, is home to various species, including red pandas, snow leopards, Himalayan musk deer, Himalayan goral, and Himalayan black bears. The sanctuary is strategically located in the East Sikkim district, connecting the forests of Bhutan and the Neora Valley National Park in West Bengal.
Copyright©2024 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today