This is the primary proof of tiger breeding within the protected space, a buffer zone of Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR). The poachers wiped out complete rhino population of around 70 in 1983-84 on the peak of the Assam Agitation against foreigners of Bangladeshi origin.
Amidst deaths of wild animals because of floods, photographs of a tigress and her two cubs captured on a camera trap inside Assam’s Laokhowa Burhachapori wildlife sanctuary have brought cheer among forest and conservation activists.
“Roar gets louder. First ever camera trap proof of successful breeding of tigers in Laokhowa Burhachapori wildlife sanctuary, buffer of Kaziranga Tiger Reserve. Results of more than 15 years of hard work and effort. Kudos,” KNPTR’s official Twitter handle posted on Sunday.
Situated on the south bank of the Brahmaputra and unfold over 114 sq km, Laokhowa Burhachapori lies inside KNPTR and the Orang National Park. That is a part of the Kaziranga Orang Riverine Landscape (KORL), a significant gateway for straying animals inside protected areas of central Assam.
“Prior to 2007, Laokhowa Burhachapori was treated as redundant in terms of wildlife conservation after we lost all our rhinos during the Assam Agitation. The area was brought under KNPTR in 2007 and conservation efforts renewed,” stated P Sivakumar, director, KNPTR.
The Officials found 4 tigers within few years in the areas which brought joy among the activists. However there was no photographic proof. In February 2013, a camera trap captured the picture of a tigress indicating wildlife was thriving again within the sanctuary.
Tiger Breeding in Kaziranga National Park
“Before we began our conservation efforts, the area was under the grip of encroachers. There used to be about 240 cattle stations inside Laokhowa-Burhachapori. We removed the encroachments and now the area is under protection. It’s a great sign that tigers have began utilizing the area as a habitat,” stated Sivakumar.
He informed that more than 30 camera traps have been positioned inside the area last year. So they have been able to capture photographs of 4 tigers between February and April this year.
Sivakumar mentioned that there are at present around 145 plus tigers in KORL. Around 125 in Kaziranga and Laokhowa-Burhachapori and 19 in Orang. The information for Biswanath wildlife division, which is also a part of KNPTR, is still pending for collection.
“The camera trap picture confirms breeding of tigers in Laokhowa Burhachapori for the first time. It is a significant development and will strengthen tiger conservation efforts,” stated M Firoz Ahmed, head of tiger research and conservation division at Aaranyak, a Guwahati-based wildlife NGO.
“Tigresses don’t move from an area with their cubs until they’re around 2 years old. Breeding by tigers in Laokhowa Burhachapori shows that there’s a good prey base in the area and ecosystem is healthy.,” he added.
Above all, almost 85% area of KNPTR spread over 430 sq km is harm by flood waters at present. Moreover, this monsoon, 129 wildanimals together with 14 rhinos (10 drowning, four natural causes) have died in and around park.
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