Posted on 29 July 2022
29th July 2022, Kathmandu - Nepal has successfully doubled its wild tiger population, meeting the global commitment and strengthening the survival prospects of the species. From an estimated 121 individuals in 2010, the numbers have bounced well beyond the national Tx2 target of 250 tigers in the latest survey this year.
“Nepal’s tiger population has reached 355,” announced Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who was at the event organized today in Kathmandu to celebrate the Global Tiger Day. Around 500 people including conservationists, community leaders, media and government agencies came together to celebrate this historic event.
Tiger numbers in Nepal have seen a steady rise since the St Petersburg declaration in 2010, when all 13 range countries committed to double the tiger numbers by 2022. Four-year periodic population assessments indicated a rise in Nepal’s tiger population to 198 and 235 in 2014 and 2018, respectively.
“This success was possible due to the unwavering political will of the Government of Nepal, contributions of many stakeholders including enforcement agencies and conservation partners, but most of all the communities that live alongside tigers,” noted Dr. Pem Narayan Kandel, Secretary, Ministry of Forests and Environment. “A key challenge moving forward is to ensure cohabitation between people and nature, as well as to reconcile the country’s growth aspirations with the need to keep nature secure.”
The latest figures are a testament to the decades of investments supporting the country’s holistic endeavours towards restoration of wildlife corridors, extension of core habitats and control of wildlife crime. Expansion of protected area (PA) coverage included creation of Banke National Park; network of corridors was strengthened to interconnect tiger habitats within Nepal as well as with those in India. Improved security by enforcement agencies helped address the threat of wildlife crime. Well-being of communities was facilitated through enhanced awareness, conflict management and livelihood securement interventions.
While celebrating this historic achievement, the conservation community acknowledges existing and emerging challenges in securing the tiger’s future.
“WWF in Nepal is privileged to have been one of the contributors of this historic achievement, thanks to all our supporters,” said Dr. Ghana Shyam Gurung, Country Representative, WWF Nepal. “Conservation delivery takes time. However, under the leadership of the Nepal government, together with conservation partners and support from our communities, we have been able to live up to the trust of donors and supporters globally. Alongside maintaining the current achievements with renewed focus on co-existence of humans and tigers, we will continue to invest in tackling the emerging challenges. Therefore, we aim to prioritize our efforts in water security, wildlife-friendly infrastructure and managing the dispersal of tiger population, while further solidifying our community’s stewardship. WWF will continue to stand by the government and people of Nepal to aid in this endeavor,” added Dr. Gurung.