The Nepal government announced the total number of wild tigers in the country had reached 235, nearly double of what it was in 2009. This means Nepal will be the first country to attain the TX2 target of doubling its wild tiger population adopted at the St Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010.

Nepal conducted a tiger census between November 2017 and April 2018 with camera traps. The last tiger survey in 2013 had estimated the tiger population at 198.

“Our commitment to the Global Tiger Recovery Programme gains new ground with Nepal’s growing tiger numbers and a successful implementation of Nepal’s Tiger Conservation Action Plan,” said Bishwa Nath Oli, Secretary of the Ministry of Forests and Environment. “Protecting tigers is a top priority of the government, and we are thankful for the able support of our partners, enforcement agencies, local communities and the international community for a common purpose.”

“Every tiger counts, for Nepal and for the world,” said Ghana S Gurung, Country Representative, world Wildlife Fund (WWF-Nepal). “While Nepal is but a few tigers away from our goal to double tiger numbers by 2022, it also underscores the continued need to ensure protection, and improved and contiguous habitats for the long-term survival of the species.”

Photo: WWF NEPAL

Nepal’s tiger conservation program is being helped in Bardia National Park by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. DiCaprio is also chairman of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) US.   

Said DiCaprio: “Nepal has been a leader in efforts to double tigers within its own borders and serves as a model for conservation for all of Asia and the world.  This significant increase in Nepal’s tiger population is proof that when we work together, we can save the planet’s wildlife – even species facing extinction.”

Nepal was the first country to achieve global standards in managing tiger conservation areas, an accreditation scheme governed by the Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CA|TS). With four more years to go, the TX2 goal of doubling tiger numbers globally can only be achieved if all the tiger range countries step up and commit to a similar level of excellence.

In May this year, Nepal celebrated a new benchmark with the achievement of 365 days of zero poaching of rhinos on five occasions between 2011 and 2018.

Recommended