The main reason for the decline of tiger populations has been attributed to poaching and illegal trade. This is linked to the illegal international trade in tiger parts and derivatives (skin, bones, meat in some cases although not reported in Nepal) and use in traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM). Apart from these, sporadic cases of retaliatory killing from irate communities have been reported. Other important reasons of tiger population decline are habitat shrinkage and fragmentation due to human intervention, loss/decline of prey species.
"The tiger numbers have increased in Chitwan but decreased in Bardia and Shuklaphanta," said Mr. Anil Manandhar, Country Representative, WWF Nepal.
"In spite of the decade long insurgency, encroachment, poaching and illegal trade, the present numbers is a positive sign, but we can't remain unworried. The declining numbers in western Nepal has posed more challenges, needing a concerted effort to save this charismatic endangered species focusing on anti-poaching and illegal wildlife trade."
The Government of Nepal has approved and launched the 'Tiger conservation Action Plan 2008- 2012'. A comprehensive management plan has been devised in which the target is to increase the population of tigers by 10 per cent within the first 5 year period of the plan implementation.
"Tigers can not be saved by the effort of a single individual or a single organization," said Mr. Gopal Prasad Upadhyay, Director General, DNPWC. "The transboundary relation with India needs to be strengthened further and all organizations should work together to conserve tigers."
|Contact: Sanjib Chaudhary|
World Wildlife Fund