Tiger population nearly doubles in Nepal

September 24, 2018
The wild tiger population in Nepal was counted as 235 in a survey carried out this year, double that in 2009

Nepal's wild tiger population has nearly doubled over the last nine years, officials said Monday, in a victory for the impoverished country's drive to save the endangered big cats.

Wildlife groups have welcomed the news as a sign that political involvement and innovative strategies can reverse the decline of the majestic Royal Bengal tiger.

A survey carried out earlier this year counted 235 tigers in Nepal, up from around 121 tigers in 2009.

Conservationists and experts used more than 4,000 cameras and around 600 elephants, trawling a 2,700-kilometre (1,700-mile) route across Nepal's southern planes where the roam.

"This is a result of concentrated unified efforts by the government along with the local community and other stakeholders to protect the tiger's habitat and fight against poaching," Man Bahadur Khadka, director general of Nepal's Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, told AFP.

Deforestation, encroachment of habitat and poaching have devastated big cat numbers across Asia, but in 2010 Nepal and 13 other countries signed a pledge to double their tiger numbers by 2022.

The 2010 Tiger Conservation Plan—which is backed by high profile figures including actor Leonardo DiCaprio—quickly began bearing fruit, and in 2016 the World Wildlife Fund and the Global Tiger Forum announced that the wild tiger population had increased for the first time in more than a century.

In 1900, more than 100,000 tigers roamed the world but that fell to an all-time low of 3,200 in 2010.

DiCaprio tweeted his support for Nepal's success: "I am proud of @dicapriofdn's partnership with @World_Wildlife to support Nepal and local communities in doubling the population of wild tigers."

Ghana Gurung, country representative of WWF in Nepal, said that the country's progress was an example for conservation globally.

"The challenge now is to continue these efforts to protect their habitats and numbers for the long-term survival of the tigers," he said.

Explore further: Nepal expands critical tiger habitat

Related Stories

Nepal expands critical tiger habitat

October 27, 2009

The Government of Nepal announced today an expansion of Bardia National Park in the Terai Arc Landscape by 900 sq km, which will increase critical habitat for tigers.

Nepal's Royal Bengal tiger numbers soar

July 29, 2013

Nepal's number of Royal Bengal tigers in the wild has soared 64 percent to 198 in just four years, according to a government survey released Monday.

Nepal launches census of Royal Bengal tiger

February 5, 2013

Hundreds of conservationists have begun a major survey of the number of endangered Royal Bengal tigers living in a vast forest region bordering Nepal and India, officials said Tuesday.

'Tiger heavyweight' Nepal hosts anti-poaching summit

February 1, 2015

Nepal's success in turning tiger-fearing villagers into their protectors has seen none of the endangered cats killed for almost three years, offering key lessons for an anti-poaching summit opening in Kathmandu on Monday.

Global wild tiger population to be counted by 2016

September 16, 2014

Thirteen countries with wild tiger populations agreed Tuesday to take part in a global count to establish how many of the critically endangered animals are left and improve policies to protect them.

Recommended for you

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.