A long-term camera trap study has reported the appearance of Siberian tigers in a mountain valley 3,630 meters above sea level in Arunachal Pradesh in India’s extreme northeast.
Aisho Sharma Adhikarimayum, a scientist at the Wildlife Institute of India said it is possible that there are tigers in even higher areas of the mountains in Dibang Valley, the Times of India reported. The proposition by the scientist mirrors the record in 2012 when a tiger was spotted at 4,200 meters in Bhutan.
Other experts agree with Adhikarimayum. Anwaruddin Choudhury, a conservationist who has authored several reports on Dibang Valley’s wildlife, also said there is a possibility of tigers being present at such an altitude.
This piece of information might seem trivial to some but is significantly important for conservationists’ understanding of tigers. While there had been claims of tigers being spotted at above 4,000 meters, there was until now no conclusive evidence to support the claims.
The camera trap study took place from 2015-2017 in the 336-square-kilometer Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary. The study revealed the existence of 11 individual tigers, including two tiger cubs.