Green forest depletes in Mizoram's tiger reserve: Report
Aizawl, Nov 26 : The tiger habitat analysis in Dampa Tiger Reserve(DTR) in western Mizoram has found that closed evergreen or semi evergreen forest in the tiger reserve has considerably decreased over the last few decades.
The report of the analysis to the state environment & forest department today disclosed that the green forest was reduced to 95.27 sq km in 2005 from 152.47 sq km in 1978 and was inversely proportional to human settlements in the area.
However, the analysis indicated that the present green forest is suitable for tigers and emphasised the need to preserve the habitats.
The report, jointly conducted by the Mizoram Remote Sensing Application (MIRSAC) and North East Space Application Centre(NESAC), Shillong, was handed over to Chief Wildlife Warden L R Thanga by Principal Secretary and MIRSAC Chairman Lalsawta.
Lauding the efforts of MIRSAC and NESAC in carrying out the analysis, Lalsawta hoped that the report would help the Mizoram government protect the depleting environment and the tiger habitats in particular.
The DTR, the largest wildlife sanctuary in Mizoram sharing a 127-km border with Bangladesh, was notified in 1985 and declared a tiger reserve in 1944.
The tiger reserve covers an area of approximately 550 sq km. It consists of forest interpolated with steep precipitous hills, deep valleys, jungle streams, ripping rivulets, natural salts licks, with an altitudinal zone of 200-800 mts.
Wildlife activists have opposed the ongoing Indo-Bangla border fencing as it will prohibit the movement of animals.
The DTR encompasses a variety of rare and endangered animals in abundance such as Rhesus macaque, leaf monkey, pigtail macaque, stumptail macaque, hoolock gibbon, Assamese macaque, slow lorris and giant squirrel.
Tiger, leopard, Indian elephant, gaur, serow, barking deer, wild boar, porcupine, sloth bear, Himalayan black bear, great hornbill, oriental pied hornbill, grey peacock pheasant, red junglefowl, crested serpent eagle, emerald dove, hill myna are also found there.