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7 May 2018

Neora Valley casts net wider ...First fauna survey since park area doubled

Subhajoy Roy, TT,  May 07, 2018 Calcutta: Neora Valley National Park in Kalimpong, home to the "endangered" red panda and the "vulnerable" clouded leopard, might see its wildlife diversity increase in an updated database that takes into account an additional 78sq km of forested area.

A 10-day survey carried out recently at the park was the first since the span of the protected zone almost doubled in 2013. The added area increased the size of the park to 160sq km, varying in altitudes ranging from 100ft to 10,000ft.

Animesh Bose of the Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation told Metro that the survey was the first of many that will be done over the next five years. "We will have surveys in different months to track wildlife movement that depends on the change of seasons," he said.

Neora Valley is a popular leisure and adventure destination, especially for those with special interests like birdwatching and wildlife treks. Based on the findings of the survey, a new forest management plan will revise access and restrictions on tourist traffic.

The survey team had camped within the forest and carried out the survey in three phases, going from lower to higher altitudes.

"A tiger had been spotted in February 2017 in the added area of the park, the flora and fauna of which have yet to be documented. If that part of the forest has tigers, there must be enough prey for the big cats to survive," said a naturalist who was part of the 13-member team that conducted the survey between February 22 and March 13.

Calcutta: Neora Valley National Park in Kalimpong, home to the "endangered" red panda and the "vulnerable" clouded leopard, might see its wildlife diversity increase in an updated database that takes into account an additional 78sq km of forested area.

A 10-day survey carried out recently at the park was the first since the span of the protected zone almost doubled in 2013. The added area increased the size of the park to 160sq km, varying in altitudes ranging from 100ft to 10,000ft.

Animesh Bose of the Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation told Metro that the survey was the first of many that will be done over the next five years. "We will have surveys in different months to track wildlife movement that depends on the change of seasons," he said.

Neora Valley is a popular leisure and adventure destination, especially for those with special interests like birdwatching and wildlife treks. Based on the findings of the survey, a new forest management plan will revise access and restrictions on tourist traffic.

The survey team had camped within the forest and carried out the survey in three phases, going from lower to higher altitudes.

"A tiger had been spotted in February 2017 in the added area of the park, the flora and fauna of which have yet to be documented. If that part of the forest has tigers, there must be enough prey for the big cats to survive," said a naturalist who was part of the 13-member team that conducted the survey between February 22 and March 13.

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