Transboundary tiger monitoring

Project name: Indo-Bhutan Transboundary Tiger Monitoring in Barnadi-Jomotshangkha Forest Complex

Location: Assam, India and Samdrup Jongkhar, Bhutan

Goal: This project will study the status of tigers and habitats in the contiguous forests of Barnadi-Jomotsankha wildlife sanctuaries which straddle the border of India and Bhutan. It will help the protected area managers and the governments of India and Bhutan to strengthen tiger and habitat conservation measures in  the Transboundary Manas Conservation Area (TraMCA)

Objective 1:Systematic Camera Trapping to estimate abundance and density of tigers and co-predators.

Objective 2: Line transect sampling for estimating ungulate densities and abundances.

Objective 3: Landuse and Landcover (LULC) map of the study site

Background:

The Transboundary Manas Conservation Area (TraMCA) across the international boundary of India and Bhutan, is a significant tiger habitat that has potential to double its tiger population within a decade. The TraMCA with an area of over 6500 sq km spans from the river Sankosh, the western boundary of Ripu reserve forest in India to the Jomotsangkha wildlife sanctuary in Bhutan to the east. To the south it extends to the southern boundary of the Manas Tiger reserve (MTR) in India and to the north, the northern extent of the Royal Manas National Park (RMNP) in Bhutan. The Manas National Park (MNP) in India and the RMNP in Bhutan forms the core of this extraordinary Transboundary landscape.

A combined record of the TraMCA indicate the local species composition includes more than 65 species of mammals, over 500 species of birds and more than 1000 species of plants. Key species include Tiger, Elephant, Pigmy Hog, Hispid Hare, Bengal Florican, Clouded Leopard, Common Leopard and Gaur.

This Aaranyak project is an extension of the existing collaboration between India and Bhutan which is helping to understand the status of tigers, co-predators and prey animals in the core area of the TraMCA.

This Barnadi-Jomotsankha forest complex has the potential to be another important tiger habitat and this study would greatly help the protected area managers and the governments of India and Bhutan to strengthen tiger and habitat conservation measures to the relatively unexplored eastern limit of the TraMCA.