IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


8th February, 2024 Environment


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Picture Courtesy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uukcwT5tCdo

Context: The animal exchange program between Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary in Tripura and North Bengal Zoo is a positive initiative that contributes to biodiversity enrichment and collaboration in conservation efforts.


  • The animal exchange program involves a total of 18 animals arriving in Tripura from the North Bengal Zoo, and in return, 12 animals from Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary will be sent to North Bengal.
  • The newcomers from North Bengal will undergo a one-month quarantine period before they are available for public viewing. This practice is essential for ensuring the health and safety of the animals.
  • The exchange program contributes to the enrichment of biodiversity in both regions. It allows for the introduction of new species and individuals to enhance the overall diversity of the wildlife sanctuary.
  • The collaboration through the animal exchange program reflects a commitment to conservation efforts. Such initiatives foster cooperation between wildlife sanctuaries and contribute to the preservation of endangered or vulnerable species.

Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area located in Tripura. The sanctuary is known for its rich biodiversity and is home to a variety of flora and fauna, including elephants, tigers, leopards, deer, and many species of birds.
  • The Sanctuary is located in the southern part of Tripura and is bordered by Bangladesh to the south.
  • The dominant vegetation type is tropical moist deciduous forest. Other forest types found in the sanctuary include evergreen forest, bamboo forest, and grassland. Some of the common tree species found in the sanctuary include sal, teak, mahua, and bamboo.
  • Some of the mammals found in the sanctuary include elephant, tiger, leopard, gaur, sambar, barking deer, and wild boar. The sanctuary is also home to a wide variety of birds, including hornbill, peacock, pheasant, and eagle. Reptiles found in the sanctuary include snakes, lizards, and turtles.
  • The Sanctuary is drained by several rivers, including the Muhuri, Howrah, and Khowai.
  • The Sanctuary is located in a hilly region, with elevations ranging from 150 to 600 meters above sea level. The highest point in the sanctuary is Agartala Hill, which is 600 meters high.
  • The Sanctuary is home to several indigenous tribal communities, including the Reang, Tripura, and Jamatia tribes. These communities have lived in the sanctuary for generations, and they have a deep connection to the forest. The tribal communities play an important role in the conservation of the sanctuary.


  • The Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary faces a number of threats, including poaching, habitat loss, and encroachment.
  • Poaching is a major threat to the endangered species in the sanctuary.
  • Habitat loss is a problem, as forests are being cleared for agriculture and other development projects.
  • Encroachment is another threat, as people are moving into the sanctuary for settlement and agriculture.

Conservation Efforts

  • There are a number of conservation efforts underway to protect the Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • The government of Tripura has taken a number of steps to protect the sanctuary, including increasing the number of forest guards and establishing anti-poaching patrols.
  • The government also worked with local communities to develop conservation programs.


  • The Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary is an important ecological and cultural treasure. It is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including many endangered species. The sanctuary is also home to several indigenous tribal communities. The Sanctuary faces a number of threats, but there are also a number of conservation efforts underway to protect it. With continued effort, the Sepahijala Wildlife Sanctuary can be preserved for future generations.


Q. What potential challenges might arise during the animal exchange process?

1. Lack of proper transportation facilities

2. Difficulty acclimatizing animals to the new environment

3. Insufficient food and water supplies

4. High risk of predator-prey interactions

Select the correct code:

A) Only one

B) Only two

C) Only three

D) All four

Answer: D


Statement 1 is correct: Animals need to be transported in a safe, comfortable, and stress-free manner, which requires adequate equipment, vehicles, cages, crates, and personnel. However, some locations may not have access to such facilities, or they may be inadequate for the specific needs of the animals. This can result in injuries, illnesses, or even deaths of the animals during transit.

Statement 2 is correct: Animals are adapted to their natural habitats and have specific physiological and behavioural needs. When they are moved to a new environment, they may face challenges such as changes in climate, vegetation, food availability, predators, competitors, and human interference. These challenges can cause stress, anxiety, depression, or aggression in the animals, which can affect their health and behaviour. Moreover, some animals may not be able to adjust to the new environment at all and may die due to starvation, disease, or predation.

Statement 3 is correct: Animals need adequate and appropriate food and water to survive and thrive in their new locations. However, some locations may not have enough resources to provide for the nutritional and hydration needs of the animals. This can lead to malnutrition, dehydration, or poisoning of the animals, which can compromise their immune system and make them vulnerable to infections and diseases.

Statement 4 is correct: Animals may encounter new or unfamiliar predators or prey in their new locations, which can pose a threat to their survival. For example, predators may attack or kill animals that are not used to defending themselves or escaping from them. Alternatively, prey animals may be overhunted or depleted by animals that are not used to regulating their hunting behaviour or respecting the carrying capacity of the ecosystem. This can result in ecological imbalances and biodiversity loss.