A BBC film crew has photographed Bengal tigers, including a mating pair, living far higher than the great cats have been documented before. Camera traps captured images and videos of tigers living 4,000 meters (over 13,000 feet) in the tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan.
The discovery is particularly surprising as most tigers inhabit forests, where as these cats were surviving above the tree line.
Bengal tigers, one of five surviving subspecies, are also found in India, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Bhutan is thought to have less than 100 tigers, however the new discovery of viable tiger habitat may change the estimate.
Classified as Endangered by the IUCN Red List, tigers are threatened by habitat loss and poaching for thief body parts which are used in traditional Chinese medicine. Although benefactors of some of the world’s most intensive conservation attention, tiger populations continue to drop.
A special BBC program on the discovery, Lost Land of the Tiger, will air on BBC One.
(09/15/2010) The cost of maintaining the planet’s 3,500 remaining wild tigers is around $80 million a year, according to a new study published in the journal PLoS Biology.
(08/27/2010) A two-month old tiger cub was found drugged and concealed among stuffed-tiger toys in a woman’s luggage at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport on Sunday, reports TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.
(08/04/2010) Myanmar has announced that Hukaung Valley Tiger Reserve will be nearly tripled in size, making the protected area the largest tiger reserve in the world. Spanning 17,477 square kilometers (6,748 square miles), the newly expanded park is approximately the size of Kuwait and larger than the US state of Connecticut.