The institute in a preliminary survey during February-March had already confirmed the presence of tigers and prey population in the sanctuary. On the basis of the report, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) recently asked the state Forest Department to submit a proposal to declare the area as a tiger reserve.
Deputy Chief Conservator of Forest (wildlife) P Ringu said the WII survey would likely start from next November if the required fund was released by the NTCA. The survey would take approximately six months to be completed as the sanctuary is very vast covering an area of over 4000 sq kms, Ringu added. The presence of tigers at Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary was established after state forest officials rescued three tiger cubs from Angrim Valley within the sanctuary in December 2012.
"The department's officials rescued three cubs from the area after receiving a report of sighting of four cubs. While one died due to malnutrition and disease, the two rescued cubs are presently rehabilitated at Itanagar zoo," Ringu said.
If Dibang does become a tiger reserve, it will be the third one in the state after Namdapha and Pakke. Besides Namdapha, the other reserves in the Northeast are Kaziranga, Manas and Nameri. The WII in its report, "A Rapid Field Survey of Tigers and Prey in Dibang valley district" has confirmed the presence of tigers in the district and have camera trapped the first-ever image of an adult tiger from the sanctuary. The survey results clearly indicate that the sanctuary holds the highest elevation range for tigers in the country.