Nepal, India to conduct first joint tiger count

 

For the first time, Nepal and India will undertake a joint tiger census next month in their national parks, forests and protected areas adjoining the two countries using a globally-recognised method.  Conservation authorities and experts would install cameras in various locations in tiger habitats as well as in buffer zones to capture and track the movements of the big cat. The counting of tigers will begin from the second week of November.

The Chitwan National Park in Chitwan and Parsa Wildlife Reserve of Nepal are adjacent to the Balmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar. Likewise, Nepals Bardiya National Park adjoins Indias Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary while the Shuklaphant National Park in Nepal adjoins Indias Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.

Tiger is an endangered animal listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The last tiger count conducted by Nepal in 2013 puts the number of adult tigers around 200 in the Himalayan country.

Recent figures showed that since 2010, the estimated number of tigers across 13 tiger range countries including India and Nepal stood at 3,900.

Tiger range countries (TRCs) are those where the big cat roams freely. The 13 tiger range countries include Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), tigers have lost 93 per cent of their historical range. Human and wildlife conflict, climate change and poaching and illegal wildlife trade are among the major reasons that have pushed the feline into the endangered category facing risk of extinction in the wild over the years.