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Wildlife preserve straddling Assam, Bhutan gets tiger conservation award

File photo for representation.   | Photo Credit: M.A. SRIRAM

A 1,500-sq. km. conservation area straddling the India-Bhutan border has received the TX2 Conservation Excellence Award for 2020.

TX2 stands for “Tigers times two”, signalling the goal to double the population of wild tigers by 2022.

The recognition was for the Transboundary Manas Conservation Area or TraMCA comprising the 500 sq. km. Manas National Park in Assam and the 1,057-sq. km. Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan.

India and Bhutan are among 13 countries working towards TX2, a goal that the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) had set through the Global Tiger Initiative, Global Tiger Forum and other critical platforms.

The award recognises a site that has achieved excellence in two or more of five themes: Tiger and prey population monitoring and research (tiger translocation/prey augmentation); effective site management; enhanced law enforcement, protection and ranger welfare improvement; community-based conservation, benefits and human-wildlife conflict mitigation and habitat and prey management.

According to a WWF statement, the award was given to TraMCA for efforts to increase the tiger population. The number of the striped cat in the Indian Manas increased from nine in 2010 to 25 in 2018 while that in the Bhutan Manas more than doubled from 12 in 2008 to 26 in 2018.

From 2010 to 2016, Bhutan achieved the target with the number of tigers increasing from 10 to 22, one of the most ambitious conservation goals ever made for a single species. Bhutan has an estimated tiger population of 103 at a density of 0.46 individuals per 100 sq. km.

“Camera trap studies in Bhutan have also shown that tiger prey, including gaur and sambar, are abundant in the protected area,” the WWF statement said.

The TX2 awards include a financial grant to assist ongoing conservation.

With 65 individuals recorded in 2018, the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh also won the TX2 award for doubling its population of wild tigers since 2010. The reserve is a source site for tigers and important for connectivity across the vast Terai Arc Landscape of India and Nepal.

Tiger injures two people

An adult tiger injured two people after straying out of a forest on Tuesday. The incident was reported from the outskirts of central Assam’s Tezpur town.

Forest officials who went to the site to control the situation said the tiger was still close to the human habitations. The carnivore could have strayed out of the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve across the river Brahmaputra or the Nameri National Park adjoining Arunachal Pradesh, they said.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2021 11:55:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/wildlife-preserve-straddling-assam-bhutan-gets-tiger-conservation-award/article33169212.ece

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