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Rare animals sighted in Pakke Tiger Reserve

ITANAGAR: Four rare melanistic (black) golden cats (Captopuma Temminckii) and rare Chinese pangolins were sighted at Pakke Tiger Reserve in East Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh, forest officials said here on Tuesday.

The images of the cats were captured during recent camera trapping survey in 57 locations of the rainforest area of the reserve spread in an area of 862 sq km, they said.

The camera trapping exercise was conducted by officials and personnel of the tiger reserve as part of the Phase-IV monitoring of tiger and prey population under Project Tiger, in collaboration with the 
National Tiger Conservation Authority(NTCA) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) India, sources said.

The photos of melanistic cats were captured from different sites situated in different grids of temperature sites and rainforests sites ranging from Seijosa to Tippi. Our observations from pictures confirmed that that these are rare melanistic cats," divisional forest officer (DFO) of Pakke Tiger Reserve Tana Tapi said.

"There is also a photographic capture of Chinese pangolins, and six tigers (three males and as many females), apart from a leopard, a clouded leopard, a wild dog, an Asiatic black bear among other animals," Tapi said.

The DFO said the presence of rare animals in the reserve was good news for animal lovers and has brought cheer to the officials and the staff involved in this survey.

"The reserve, which is considered as one of the global biodiversity hotspots, is rich in wildlife and if all the areas were surveyed properly, there could be more such first-time records," Tapi said, adding that the reserve was a well-monitored area.

The Times of India (25-12-2013)