The New Year brought a new surprise for wildlife monitoring teams near Northern Indias Kaziranga Tiger Reserve, as a tiger was captured for the first time using one of the important wildlife corridors south of the famous park.
The Karbi Anglong landscape south of Kaziranga has been used by wildlife for generations during peak monsoon periods when the Reserve itself if flooded. Camera traps set up by WWFs Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong Conservation Programme (KKL) caught the tiger in late December using the Kanchanjuri corridor.
As the communities and tourism activities in the already heavily populated region south of Kaziranga grow, the areas four main wildlife corridors, including Kanchanjuri, continue to be squeezed by human activity and infrastructure. In addition to the tiger, the photos also captured important and endangered wildlife such as elephants, common leopards, wild boar, barking deer and even a melanistic leopard, commonly called a black panther.
The discoveries have led WWF-India to reiterate its long term support for these vital wildlife corridors. The WWF KKL team has been working with communities in the region since 2005, and has been documenting wildlife using the corridors since initially setting up camera traps in June 2010.
The Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong landscape, in the far Northeastern Indian state of Assam, is one of 12 priority landscapes in which WWF focuses its tiger conservation efforts. Kaziranga Tiger Reserve has the worlds highest density of Bengal tigers. Animals migrating from Kaziranga during floods to the Karbi Anglong hills to the South use specific forested strips or corridors running across National Highway 37 to reach higher ground. Four main corridors are currently intact Kanchanjuri, Panbari, Haldibari and Amguri.
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