Bengal Tigers Found In Tibet’s Medog County Area
2019-08-19
Chinese scientists and environmental experts in Tibet have recently confirmed the presence of at least one Bengal Tiger in the Medog County area of Nyingchi Prefecture-Level City in the Tibet Autonomous Region. The team of scientists currently investigating the area around Medog County plan to continue their research to try and learn exactly how many Bengal tigers are in the area.
 
The rare Bengal tiger is the 2nd largest wild cat in the world
The rare Bengal tiger is the 2nd largest wild cat in the world
 
The Bengal Tiger, Latin name being “Panthera tigris tigris”, is only found in a few countries in Asia, which includes Bangladesh, India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, and China. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), there are only around 2,100 to 3,100 Bengal tigers left in the world.

 The Bengal tiger is an endangered species on the IUCN Red List
The Bengal tiger is an endangered species on the IUCN Red List
 
Three recent photos received at the Kunming Institute of Zoology showed photos of Bengal tigers from infrared camera traps set up in Medog County late in 2018. Of the 48 traps set, only two showed photos of the tigers, the first that the Chinese researchers had come across since their investigations began in late 2018. While there had been plenty of hints that the tigers had been present in the area for several years previously, this was the first real evidence of their activity in Tibet.

Bengal tigers live mostly in Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal and China.
Bengal tigers live mostly in Asian countries such as Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal and China.
 
Prints and livestock kills in Medog County, mostly around the area of Mount Namche Barwa, were found in the late 1990s, and it was then estimated that there could be at least 11 tigers active in the county. More recently, locals have reported seeing tiger prints all around the area, with evidence of prints and kills. The last county to have roads built in it in 2013, the area of Medog County boasts a well-preserved ecology, with few people living in the area, which makes it ideal for the tigers, who shy away from people most of the time.

 Medog County boasts an environment that could aid in the survival of the tigers
Medog County boasts an environment that could aid in the survival of the tigers
 
Jian Xuelong, a researcher from the institute, said that the team expects to add more camera traps to the area in September and October, in the hopes of getting more information about the number of tigers in the county, their distribution range, and the availability of suitable food in the area in order to protect both the tigers and other animals in the region. The infrared camera in the county are set up at altitudes from 1,000 to 3,400 meters, and have also found a number of other animals living in the county that were previously unknown, including the clouded leopard and six species of pheasants.
 
Clouded Leopard caught in a camera trap
Clouded Leopard caught in a camera trap

 
From the evidence of the cameras, it has been found that 16 of the 29 species found in Medog County are listed by the IUCN Red List as an “Endangered” species. The cameras also showed more than 350 images of the barking deer, which researchers have said suggests an abundance of prey in the area for large predators.
 
 Barking Deer are the ideal prey for the tigers in Medog
Barking Deer are the ideal prey for the tigers in Medog
 
With this new evidence that shows the presence of the Bengal tiger in Medog County, researchers believe that the area could provide the demanding ecological environment the large predator needs to survive and reproduce. However, the institute also warned that the encroachment of people into the county following the introduction of roads linked to the main network in China could threaten the habitats of the tigers and other species, restricting their population growth as human activity increases.

TAG: bengal tiger in tibet medog county tiger sightings bengal tigers sighted in medog county

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