Recently, a Royal Bengal Tiger was spotted in Pangalokha Wildlife Sanctuary in Sikkim at an altitude of 3,640 metre.
Why in the news?
- The Royal Bengal Tiger was captured by trap cameras of a team of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) which is conducting a study in the sanctuary in collaboration with the Sikkim Forest department.
- It was under a larger project called "Conservation and Use of Five Wetlands in three Himalayan States to secure Habitats of Birds Migrating within the Central Asian Flyway (CAF)."
- This project was sanctioned under the National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS), aims to protect and conserve wetland sites in Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, and Sikkim.
About Pangalokha Wildlife Sanctuary
- It is located in East Sikkim district and connected to the forests of Bhutan and Neora Valley National Park in West Bengal.
- The Pangolakha Range, extending below the Chola Range, separates Sikkim from Bhutan.
- Vegetation: The Sanctuary has typical alpine-temperate-subtropical vegetation with high altitudelakes around JelepLa.
- Flora: Rhododendron, Silver Fir, Juniper forest and associated ground flora, moss-filled oak forests with dense bamboo thickets etc.
- Fauna: It is home to a diverse range of charismatic species, including red pandas, snow leopards, Himalayan musk deer, Himalayan goral, and Himalayan black bears.
Q1) What is the National Mission on Himalayan Studies?
It is a Central Sector Grant-in-aid Scheme, aimed to provide much needed focus, through holistic understanding of system's components and their linkages, in addressing the key issues relating to conservation and sustainable management of natural resources in Indian Himalayan Region (IHR). The ultimate goal is to improve quality of life and maintain ecosystem health of the region to ensure long- term ecological security to the country.