Saturday, 31 August 2013

Four mammal species identified in India tiger reserve for the first time

Uncovering Valmiki's treasures: Four more species added to the Tiger Reserve baseline
August 2013: A once neglected tiger reserve has proved that a wealth of smaller mammals have survived and are now benefitting from the recent efforts to revive the reserve. Three species, previously unrecorded in the once-neglected Valmiki Tiger Reserve have been spotted in the past two months.

A crab-eating mongoose (Herpestes urva), a yellow-throated marten (Martes flavigula) and a Himalayan serow (Capricornis thar) were all captured in camera traps placed by the Bihar Forest Department and NGOs WWF-India and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI).

A 4th new species, a hoary-bellied squirrel (Callosciurus pygerythrus) was also photographed recently by WTI's Regional Head for Bihar, Dr Samir Kumar Sinha.

Dr Sinha said; "We are excited by these discoveries. Valmiki has excellent potential for tiger recovery and given its contiguity with the Chitwan National Park in Nepal, it will be a critical site for undertaking transboundary tiger conservation. WWF will strengthen its partnership with the management of Valmiki and intensify conservation efforts," said Dr. Dipankar Ghose, Director, Species and Landscapes, WWF-India. 

These species have all been previously recorded in the neighbouring Chitwan National Park in Nepal, which forms the northern boundary of Valmiki Reserve. ZSI has recorded 10 species of amphibians, 27 species of reptiles and 75 species of insects in Valmiki, including the gaur (Bos gaurus) and the Indian wild dog (Cuon alpinus), which are not found in rest of the Terai region in India.

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