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Tiger presence confirmed in Mizoram Dampa forest

Guwahati: Significant tiger presence has been confirmed in Mizoram`s Dampa reserve forest through DNA- based analysis techniques.

The presence of the big cats was confirmed during a joint field survey conducted by the forest reserve`s field directorate, World Wildlife Fund and `Aaranyak`, a society for biodiversity conservation, in March last as part of the country-wide phase four of tiger monitoring programme initiated by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

"We successfully used DNA-based analysis techniques for identifying tiger faecal samples, collected during the joint field survey", Aaranyak`s head of Wildlife Genetics Programme Udayan Borthakur said here today.

Efforts are now on to find out the minimum number of tigers present in Dampa through the use of DNA fingerprinting techniques, Borthakur said. Dampa Tiger Reserve is situated in the western part of Mizoram and is spread in an area of 550 sq km at the international border with Bangladesh.

It consists of a forest with a difficult terrain interpolated with hills, valleys, streams and a rivulet and is a hot spot of bio-diversity with a variety of flora and fauna of Indo-Malayan origin.

NTCA has categorised Dampa Tiger Reserve as one of the low density Tiger Reserves in India with deficiency of data on the current population status of tigers in the area, Borthakur said.

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