Kathmandu, Nepal The first ever overall nation-wide estimate of the tiger population brought a positive ray of hope among conservationists. The figures announced by the Nepal Government's Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) shows the presence of 121 (100 194) breeding tigers in the wild within the four protected areas of Nepal. The 2008 tiger population estimate was jointly implemented by the DNPWC, Department of Forests (DOF), WWF, National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) with support from Save The Tiger Fund (STF), WWF-US, WWF-UK, WWF International and US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).
The 2008 nation-wide tiger population was initiated on 15 November 2009 in the Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) of Nepal both inside and outside the protected areas of Nepal. [TAL encompasses the Terai region of Nepal and into tiger range states across the border into India.]
"To obtain reliable population estimates of wide ranging species like the tiger, it is important to undertake the survey simultaneously in all potential habitats," says Dr. Rinjan Shrestha, Conservation Biologist with WWF Nepal. Previous studies had been undertaken in different time periods and at different spatial scales.
"To derive information on both abundance and distribution of tigers, the current survey employed two methods - Camera Trapping method inside the protected areas and Habitat Occupancy survey both inside and outside the protected areas."
According to WWF Global Tiger Network Initiative, the wild tiger population is at a tipping point. Tigers are experiencing a range collapse, occupying 40 per cent less habitat than was estimated just one decade ago. The estimated number of tigers in important range countries is frighteningly low, with a recent government census suggesting there may be as few as 1,300 tigers left in India, the species' stronghold. And tigers are facing an epidemic of poaching and habitat loss across the
|Contact: Sanjib Chaudhary|
World Wildlife Fund