Tigers vs Snow Leopards..is the duel on?

For the First time…Tiger and Snow Leopard at the same altitude in India..Is the Safari on?

Absolutely true…a Tiger camera trapped at the altitude of Snow Leopards. Is the duel inevitable now? Who will win the contest? The dark ghost of the Himalayas or the roaring beast of the plains? What if there are more Tiger and Snow Leopard in the area? This possibility cannot be ruled out as of now. Is it really a good news? Well, not bad either. Most noteworthy would be to go on a Tiger Safari in the area and see the Snow Leopard.

Having excelled in staying in the deltas, dry deciduous forest, almost desert like conditions, in rain forests, now the Tiger has been camera trapped in the regions of Askot in the upper reaches of Pithoragarh district in Uttrakhand at a height of 12000 feet. Sometime back Tigers were tracked at an altitude of 13000 feet in Bhutan. While the highest altitude the Tigers got in India was at 10000 feet in Sikkim. A male Tiger’s pug marks were also seen in snow near Jelepla in 2009. Occasionally Tigers are sighted at 6000-8000 feet in Sikkim. While in Nepal Tigers are found at an altitude of 12000 feet or above as well.

But why Tiger and Snow Leopard are moving to higher altitudes?

Is there some change happening in the territorial patterns of the Tigers? Maybe yes. But why, is the next logical question. Simply due to immense bio-mass pressure on their home in the plains. Tiger habitat is shrinking and they need to adapt to survive. Let us not forget the fact that the Tiger is a fast breeding and a highly territorial cat. When it doesn’t find enough space to share with other Tigers it wonders around in search of new home.

One must also realize that state of Uttrakhand is mostly hilly, with sparse population. Hence big cats find peace, prey, and parking space much easily here compared to lower altitudes.

Just few months back Snow Leopards were camera trapped in the upper reaches of Uttrakhand. This simply suggests that the Tiger and Snow Leopard are happy with their new found home in the upper reaches of Uttrakhand. After all, the forests of Corbett, and other areas below are crowded for them as far as Tigers, and tourists are concerned.

Though the Tigress has marked her new found home as taken, i pray there is no untoward incident with humans, but livestock with be in their radar now.

 

Tiger and Snow Leopard
Tigress marking her territory

Hope the Tigers and Snow Leopard thrive in their new found home.

Best Wishes

Sharad Vats

  • *P.S the above image is of the Tigress marking her territory in Kanha National Park. Image of the Tigress marking her territory at the high altitude are not available yet.
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Which is the best national park to see the Tigers in India?

Best national park to see Tigers in India
Male Tiger sighting in Kanha

Which is the best national park to see Tigers in India? This is the first question asked by almost all tourists who want to see the Tiger in the wilds of India. The answer to this question is easy and tricky simultaneously. In India we have 49 Tiger reserves, out of which 15 are very popular due to good Tiger sightings. This does not mean that there is no Tiger sighting in other parks. I would like to share an image here of a sighting i had in Dudhwa national park. Not this park surely does not feature in the top 15 parks for Tiger sightings in India.

Best national park to see Tigers
A Natural History moment captured in Dudhwa National Park

What i am trying to say is that Tigers are present in all the Tiger reserves, and they can come out anytime, all you need is patience. The Tiger reserves are huge. You have to remember that you are visiting a national park and not a zoo. So to expect to see a Tiger in few minute after entering the park is not fair.

Chances of Tiger sightings are in all these parks. The frequencies are a bit different and ever changing. At times things can change so fast that within a month an area of a national park can be vacated. For e.g. if a Tigress gives a litter, she practically withdraws for some time from the tourism areas. This could mean that the Tiger sightings in that area or the zone can go dry for sometime thus disappointing lot of tourists.

Also, this is a fairly individualistic perception, and analysis also. For e.g. someone visits Ranthambhore more, and less of Tadoba, so in his opinion Ranthambhore could be good for the affinity he has for the park. It is tough to get sighting data of all the Tiger reserves. But if one travels regularly in these, gathers information, data from social media as well then one will get to know what is happening where.

We give a lot of emphasis on quality of sightings, than the quantity. Now this may include for how long was the sighting? How many vehicles were around when you were seeing the Tiger? The lesser the vehicles, the least disturbed Tiger is. If all this is ticked, then i would say it was a good sighting.

There are healthy chances that you will sight Tigers in your visits to Ranthambhore, Tadoba, Kanha, Pench, Bandhavgarh, and Corbett, not necessarily in the order listed. But when i say a visit, it implies at 3-4 nights stay, and doing about 5 to 6 safaris atleast if not more. If luck is by your side then you will sight Tigers on more than one occasion in these parks. Last but not the least important factor is that you must have the right guides, and drivers with you when going on a safari. So still want to know the best national park to see Tigers in India, write to us on email below.

Do let us know if you wish to see Tigers in India or Indian Wildlife. Write to us on info@naturesafariindia.com

Sharad Vats

 

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