RATNAGAR, CHITWAN — Nepal’s aim to double the existing number of tigers by 2022 is in the way of reality as its number has increased to 198 from 120 just within three years since the plan was made. The number of tigers may go higher as the count was carried out in 2013.
Then Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal at the International Conference on Tiger Conversation held in 2010 in Russia had committed to doubling then 120 numbers of tiger in Nepal by 2022.
The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) estimates that the number of tigers has increased in national parks and reserves. Nepal is set to carry out the census of tigers later this year. Of the total number of tigers found across the country, the highest 120 are in the Chitwan National Park alone. Others are in the Banke National Park (four), the Parsa Wildlife Reserve (seven), the Shuklaphanta National Park (17) and Bardiya National Park (62).
The aim of doubling the number of tigers will be achieved if things go as it is now, said Nurendra Aryal, assistant conservation officer and information officer at the Chitwan National Park.
The main challenge of protecting the wildcat is, according to experts, to save it from poaching. Other challenges include increasing deforestation, human encroachment of its habitat and the haphazard opening of roads among others.
In the face of tigers migrating elsewhere due to climate change, conservation education officer at the DNPWC Bishnu Shrestha said the department should take steps to conserve Chure region.
The increasing conflict between tiger and humans has also made the matter worse. Of late, the trend of tigers straying from their habitat into the human settlement is increasing, thus inviting conflict between the animal and humans. Such trend is also threatening the lives of almost five percent of the population of tigers in the Chitwan National Park, said a study carried out by an expert team earlier.
Meanwhile, International Tiger Day, 2017 is being observed across the country today. In Chitwan, various programs were organized while awareness rallies were taken out. RSS