The Namdapha flying squirrel (Biswamoyopterus biswasi) has recently reappeared in Arunachal Pradesh after an absence of 42 years. The last documented sighting was in 1981 when a single individual was observed in the Namdapha Tiger Reserve in the Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh.
GS III: Environment and Ecology
Dimensions of the Article:
- Namdapha Flying Squirrel: A Rare Nocturnal Species
- Namdapha Tiger Reserve: Key Points
Namdapha Flying Squirrel: A Rare Nocturnal Species
The Namdapha Flying Squirrel is a rare nocturnal flying squirrel species exclusively found in the Namdapha Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh, India.
- Distinguished from the red giant flying squirrel by the notable tuft of hair on its ears, setting it apart in the same ecosystem.
Concerns and Conservation:
- Difficulty in locating this elusive species has raised concerns, leading to fears of potential misidentification or, worse, extinction.
- Threats to the Namdapha flying squirrel include habitat loss and degradation due to activities like clear-felling for human settlements, shifting agriculture, and extraction of non-timber forest products, especially leaves of the rattan palm Zalacca secunda used for roofing.
- Listed as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List, signifying a high risk of extinction.
- Recognized under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act, 2022, emphasizing legal protection measures for its conservation.
Namdapha Tiger Reserve: Key Points
Establishment and Tiger Project Designation:
- Declared a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1972, Namdapha Tiger Reserve was officially designated as the 15th Tiger Project of India in 1983.
Evolution of Protected Status:
- Progressing from a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1972, it attained the status of a National Park in 1983.
- Simultaneously, it became a Tiger Reserve under the Project Tiger scheme in the same year.
- Named after the Namdapha River, originating from Daphabum, with “Dapha” referring to the hill and “Bum” signifying the peak of the hill.
- The river flows in a North-South direction across the National Park, influencing its nomenclature.
- Situated in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, Namdapha Tiger Reserve is positioned between the Dapha Bum range of the Mishmi Hills and the Patkai range.
- Enjoys a sub-tropical climate with distinct variations.
- Mountainous areas experience a climate typical of high altitudes, while low-lying plains and valleys encounter a tropical climate.
- As a Tiger Reserve, Namdapha plays a crucial role in the conservation of the Bengal tiger and other diverse flora and fauna within its ecosystem.
- The reserve’s rich biodiversity and unique geography contribute to its significance in maintaining ecological balance and supporting various endangered species.
-Source: The Hindu