Tiger in the snow
Mains Paper 3: Environment
Prelims level: Dibang Valley
Mains level: Conservation
- The Royal Bengal Tiger is known to live in a wide variety of
habitats in the Subcontinent.
- Its roar can be heard in moist evergreen forests, dry and
coniferous forests, mangroves, subtropical and temperate upland forests and
- Now, a study by researchers of the Wildlife Institute of India has
found these majestic creatures in the snow-capped regions of the Eastern
- The study that began about three years ago has recorded 11 tigers
in Arunachal Pradesh’s Dibang Valley.
- The Namdapha National Park in the state is known to be the
country’s only reserve to have four big cat species the tiger, leopard and
the severely endangered clouded and snow leopards.
- The park is in the lower reaches of the Himalaya.
- Their presence at 3,246m and 3,630m in the Dibang Valley is the
evidence of tiger at the highest altitude in the Indian part of the Eastern
Himalayas the animals have been found at an altitude of more than 4,000m in
- A large part of the Dibang Valley is home to the Mishmi tribes.
- The presence of the big cats in an area which is not even a tiger
reserve is, in large measure, a tribute to the ways the Mishmi people have
found to co-exist with the animals.
- The cosmology of this tribal group hold tigers to be in special
relationship with humans. Killing the animal is deemed fratricidal.
- The discovery of the species should also alert conservation
authorities to new challenges.
- The Dibang Valley tiger is reportedly genetically isolated from
the other variety of the species in Arunachal Pradesh.
- Inbreeding could jeopardise the prospects of an already fragile
- The story of the newly-discovered tigers is also complicated by
the fact that the rivers in the Valley are slated to be harnessed for
- The good news is that conservation authorities are alert to some
of the challenges, at least. Talks are underway to understand the genetic
difference of the Dibang tigers with that of other varieties of the species
Q.1) Dibang Valley is located at
C. Arunachal Pradesh
Q.1) What are the challenges for big cat to survive in high altitudes
parts of India?