Camera trapping has allayed fears of presence of any tiger at Medziphema village in Nagaland where a big cat was killed by locals a few days ago. The forest department, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Nagaland Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation Trust had set up camera-traps near the village where the presence of tiger was reported by the locals.
“After seven days of camera trapping with 17 units, no evidence of any tiger was found, WCS scientist Dr Varun Goswami, who led the effort, told PTI from Dimapur.
There is a habitat for tigers but very little prey is available. The big cat population has not been officially recorded in Nagaland in over a decade, he said.
“Tigers, however, can disperse into Nagaland from multiple directions - the forests of Karbi Anglong towards the northwest, or perhaps, Myanmar to the southeast,” Goswami said, adding after interacting with residents of Medziphema it was learnt that tigers occasionally pass through the area.
“Tigers can move large distances when they are dispersing. Our long term research shows evidence of tigers travelling up to 300 km or more,” said Dr Ullas Karanth, a renowned tiger expert from WCS.
One such dispersing tiger was shot dead by the panicked villagers “in self defense” on February 29. Two days later, a youngsters walking in a nearby forest had reported catching a fleeting glimpse of a “tiger-like” animal.