Camera trap captures white-bellied heron in KTR

WAKRO, Mar 22: In a very rare instance, a critically endangered white-bellied heron (Ardea insignis) was recently captured in a camera trap photo in Kamlang Tiger Reserve (KTR) here in Lohit district.
The camera had originally been set up for estimating the tigers in the reserve, for the All India Tiger Estimation, 2018.
Globally, 50 to 249 mature white-bellied herons are known to exist, distributed across Bhutan, India and Myanmar, according to the 2018 assessment by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
In 2018, the IUCN also reported the extinction of this species in Nepal.
The white-bellied heron in KTR was a lone adult captured in a series of camera trap photos on the bank of the Tawa river on 14 March.
The exercise was carried out under the guidance of KTR DFO Koj Tassar, and under the supervision of RFO Kelsang Dechen.
The officers congratulated the working staffers of the reserve on finding such a rare species, and expressed appreciation for the STPF for going into a remote area of the reserve and capturing the rare bird in one of the camera traps.
“The capture of this critically endangered species with camera trap is a very crucial sign, and may hold a certain degree of study approach in other such similar cases,” said KTR field biologist Taru Habung.
“This incident shows that camera traps can be used as observation tools in very remote, inaccessible geographical terrain, which is mostly the case for KTR,” Habung said.