Tiger population increases in Nepal

Nepal Foreign Affairs (KATHMANDU, 23 September 2018) –  The Ministry of Forest and Environment has informed that the tiger population has increased in the country as per the latest census.

The Ministry, while making public the result of the national tiger census 2018 on the occasion of the National Conservation Day today, informed that with the increase, the number of tiger has reached 235 in the country.

Deputy Director General at National Park and Wildlife Reserve, Gopal Prasad Bhattarai, informed that the census found 37 more tigers as compared to 2013 census which had recorded the population at 198.

As per the latest data, Chitwan National Park is a home to 93 big cats while Bardiya National Park 87, Banke National Park 21, Parsa National Park 18 and Shuklaphanta National Park and vicinity 16.

The Department conducted the census with the use of modern camera. The enumeration continued from December 1, 2017 to April 3, 2018.

Various methods were adopted to ascertain the tiger population as camera trap, computing, data management with grid, re-verification, data segregation as per species, GPS, and habitat use survey.

Director General at the Department, Man Bahadur Khadka, informed that the number of tigers in Chitwan National Park was less than the expected one. It may be because of the floods last year, he added.

According to him, in the last four years, 18 tigers were killed – some met natural death, some died in fight and succumbed to disease.

Nepal has been observing the Tiger Day for eight years. In 1995, Nepal had 98 tigers while it increased to 109 in 2000 and 126 in 2005, but declined to 121 in 2009 which made a leap in 2013 totaling 198.

Nepal is one among 13 countries that have tiger. There are 1,890 tigers in the world currently.

On the occasion, Minister for Forest Shakti Bahadur Basnet called for people’s active engagement in effectively implementing biodiversity conservation programmes.

He said it is a matter of happiness that Nepal is on a right track to achieve the government’s goal to double the number of tigers (to 250 adult tigers) by 2022 with the satisfactory results of tiger counts so far. The government is mindful of environmental issue in constructing Nijgadh international airport, he said.

September 23 every year is celebrated as the National Conservation Day in Nepal in commemoration of the tragic deaths of 24 people including the then Minister of State for Forest and Soil Conservation Gopal Rai, his spouse and environment conservationist from home and abroad in a helicopter crash at Ghunsha of Taplejung as the team was returning to the capital city after attending the WWF Nepal programme there in 2006.

At the programme, National Planning Commission’s member Dr Krishna Prasad Oli stated that the forest area in Nepal had reached nearly 45 percent, insisting on the collective efforts to conserve soil and water in the days ahead.
Forest Secretary Dr Bishwanath Oli said the results of latest census of tigers at home provided us a ground to say that Nepal was near its commitment made before the international community to doubling its numbers by 2022.

Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Forest and Environment Yagyanath Dahal and pro Dr Ram Prasad Chaudhary talked about efforts and challenges in regard with the biodiversity conservation in the country.

On the occasion, Dr Kamal Gaire of Tahanu was honored with this year’s National Conservation Award carrying a purse of Rs 151,000.

Minister Basnet presented him the award. A book incorporating contents about red panda protection action plans and about rhododendron available in the Kanchanjunga Conservation Area and its surroundings was also released on the occasion.

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