Adult male tiger caught on a camera trap in Samtse, Bhutan
Adult male tiger caught on a camera trap in Samtse, Bhutan. Courtesy: Bhutan Department of Forests and Park Services

Tiger Sighting In Bhutan Is A Reason To Rejoice

July 19, 2021

The first-ever record of a tiger in the Samtse district of Bhutan has given foresters in Samtse Forest Division a reason to rejoice.

Samtse forest division in Bhutan was the only division that did not photo-capture tigers during the nationwide tiger survey in 2014-2015. But that has now changed!

This adult male tiger was photo-captured in a remote camera trap at an altitude of 2775 meters above sea level.

Adult male tiger caught on a camera trap in Samtse, Bhutan.© Bhutan Department of Forests and Park Services

“This is great news and we are happy that now our division has tigers too,” said Sonam Wangchuk, the Officiating Chief Forestry Officer of Samtse Forest Division.

The new record of a tiger in Samtse is yet another success story of conservation in Bhutan. Strong political will and robust management of tiger conservation areas have helped safeguard this iconic species.

What is most unique in Bhutan is that tigers can be found at very high altitudes: all the way from 100 meters in the south up to 4500 meters in the north of the country.

The Bhutan Tiger Center (BTC) is comparing this tiger picture with the national repository of tiger images to ascertain where this individual has come from.

The Head of BTC, Dr Tshering Tempa, said that the information on tiger presence in Samtse is important to the Department of Forests and Park Services as they are in the process of planning for the second nationwide tiger survey scheduled this year.

“Now we can claim that tigers occur throughout the country. Our colleagues in the field had been working very hard to get the tiger record and this is indeed great news for our department,” said Dr Tshering Tempa.

Meanwhile, foresters of the Samtse Division will be monitoring this tiger using remote camera traps and will also increase patrolling intensity in the area.

The camera trapping exercise was conducted as part of a red panda survey in Samtse by the Department of Forests and Park Services.

Bhutan has seen a steady recovery of its tiger population in the last decade. WWF is supporting tiger countries like Bhutan by working in the field with partners to stop poaching, undertake research, conserve habitats across landscapes, and manage human-wildlife conflict and ensure benefits for local communities.

(The article was published at www.tigerspanda.org. Apart from the headline, nothing has been changed)

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