Bhutan sets up NTCA-like body for tiger protection
Bhutan has established a centre on the lines of India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to monitor cross-border tiger movements, which will help protect big catsUpdated: May 01, 2018 22:20 IST
Bhutan has established a centre on the lines of India’s National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to monitor cross-border tiger movements, which will help protect big cats.
The National Tiger Center (NTC), based in Gelephu on the India-Bhutan border, radio-collared a tiger for the first time in the Royal Manas National Park (RMNP) on February 9.
“With the centre working in full swing, we hope to work like NTCA. There was the need for a dedicated centre for tiger protection and we are glad the government supported us,” said Tempa Tshering, head of the centre.
Started as a regional centre two years ago, NTC got its approval during the third Asia Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation in New Delhi in 2016. The nod was given to ensure Bhutan’s participation in the global tiger recovery programme.
Global Tiger Forum (GTF) records show that there are over 3800 tigers in the world, of which India accounts for 2226, according to the All India Tiger Estimation 2015.
Impressed with the initiatives of the ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) for tiger conservation through NTCA, the Bhutan government felt the need to start an independent centre for protection of its 103 tigers, as recorded in the 2016 census.
One of the key objectives for establishing the centre at Gelephu is to monitor tigers that cross the border. Assam, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh adjoin the Bhutan border.
As the Royal Manas National Park of Bhutan extends as the Manas National Park in Assam, a co-ordinated plan by the managements of the two parks will be more effective in tiger conservation.
“Royal Manas National Park is one of potential tiger habitats. As it borders India, it gives us a reason for securing and protecting the habitat. That’s why Gelephu is the perfect station to start NTC,” Tempa said.
NTC of Bhutan is now working with NTCA and the Nepalese government to find high-altitude tigers under a project funded by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). GTF facilitates the programme.
Bhutan has recorded presence of tigers at the highest altitude -- 4400 metre above the sea level -- at its Wangchuck Centennial Park.