Nepal-India trans-boundary efforts for tiger conservation intensify as Chitwan sees a rise in tiger numbers
Kathmandu, Nepal – The Government of Nepal and The Government of India have signed a resolution to join hands to conserve biodiversity including tigers, and strengthen ecological security in the trans-boundary region.
The resolutions, signed at a function here today, stress on bilateral and regional co-operation including establishing a joint monitoring mechanism for interaction and intelligence sharing and exploring funding opportunities with special focus on the protected areas of the Terai Arc Landscape in both Nepal and India.
The resolutions were an outcome of the 4th Nepal-India Consultative Meeting on Trans-boundary Biodiversity Conservation. The Consultative Meeting is a key step towards the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on biodiversity conservation between Nepal and India. The Government of Nepal had signed a similar MoU with the Government of China in June 2010 creating a milestone for the co-operation between the two governments for conserving biodiversity especially control in the trade of illegal wildlife parts of endangered species such as the tiger.
WWF Nepal has played a pivotal role in fostering cooperation between the government of Nepal and its two neighboring countries.
The signing of the resolution came as a new study was released which shows the increase in the number of tigers in the Chitwan National Park (CNP) in Nepal.
The tiger numbers in CNP has risen from 91 (71-147) to 125 (95-185) adult tigers, according to the latest survey which was conducted by including previously unexplored tiger habitats of the CNP in Nepal.
The study conducted from December 2009 to March 2010 was designed to assess the status of possibly dispersing tigers in the less suitable habitats of the Churia hills - based on the results from the earlier 2009 survey which showed relatively higher tiger numbers in the prime habitats.
The monitoring conducted in 1261 sq.km area was a combined effort of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation of the Government of Nepal, WWF Nepal and the National Trust for Nature Conservation. WWF provided technical as well as financial support to complete the Tiger Population Monitoring.
The findings of the Tiger Population Monitoring were released on the occasion of the 1st Tiger Day (29 July 2010) which is being celebrated in Nepal as a run-up to the Tiger Summit to be held in St. Petersburg, Russia in September 2010. WWF Nepal along with government, private sector and NGO partners organized nationwide mass awareness events participated by hundreds of students, the media and the general public.
“WWF welcomes the steps taken by the Government of Nepal towards protecting tigers in the form of working with its neighbors in fostering trans-boundary co-operation as well as raising awareness nationally and globally on this issue. As Nepal celebrates Tiger Day today, we can see everyone from the youth to the private sector actively engaged in efforts to raise awareness on tiger conservation. This gives us hope that protecting this magnificent species is very much possible in Nepal,” said Anil Manandhar, Country Representative, WWF Nepal.