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Rare spotted linsang captured on camera in Mizoram’s Murlen National Park

Representational image. The rarely sighted spotted linsang was captured on camera in Mizoram's Murlen National Park (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@vivek4wild)

Mizoram’s well-known Murlen National Park had a reason to celebrate as for the first time the elusive and rare spotted linsang — a carnivorous mammal — was captured on camera there.

This captured image of this creature, which is infrequently recorded, is the first confirmation of this species from Murlen National Park – a protected area with tracts of subtropical evergreen forest which is less than 30 kilometres from the western Myanmar border.

Talking to EastMojo about this animal, Amit Kumar Bal, who is pursuing Ph.D at Mizoram University said: “These records are also the first to confirm the occurrence of the species in the southern portion of north eastern India. Although we could distinguish several individuals despite low camera-trap sampling effort, this population may be threatened by opportunistic and intentional hunting using projectiles and snares meant to kill small game for wild meat.”

These creatures are solitary, mostly nocturnal and partially arboreal and it is extremely tough to click them. Very little is known about their behaviour. Found in dense moist tropical forests and some grasslands they occur in North east India, eastern Nepal, Bhutan, northern and central Myanmar, northern and central Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and also central to southern China.

MNP is located in Mizoram’s Champhai district and is part of the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot and covers 100 square kilometres.

To click these animals, camera traps capable of taking three photos in rapid succession every time the motion sensor was triggered were used. A total of six images of spotted linsangs were obtained from six camera-trap stations over 400 trap nights in and around MNP.

These species have been earlier recorded in Mizoram, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Sikkim, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.