Nepal can be proud of this number: According to a study, 235 tigers were currently counted in Nepal. Thus, the number of threatened big cats has almost doubled from 121 in 2009 to today. If this positive trend continues, Nepal will be the first tiger country to reach its goal of doubling the number of its wild tigers by 2022.
The small country in the Himalayas has already taken an absolute pioneering role in tiger conservation. The fragmentation of important habitats and poaching are among the greatest threats to the imposing big cats. The year 2022 is not only a realistic, but also a symbolic target, because it will be according to the Chinese calendar again the year of the tiger!!
How has Nepal managed to improve the living conditions for the tiger and efficiently protect it from poachers? “The political will, the provision of financial resources and the well-coordinated cooperation of environmental protection organizations, politics and communities make the success of this country possible,” says Kathrin Hebel, tiger expert WWF Germany.
1. Effective management of protected areas:
Nepal has realized that it is not enough to declare an area on paper as a protected area, it also needs to be effectively managed and strictly controlled. Rangers were trained, sentries were erected and equipped with suitable equipment by the WWF and other environmental protection organizations.
2. Establishment of wild corridors
In search of suitable areas, young tigermans make long hikes. Only when they have found a suitable territory, they are sexually mature. That’s why networking protected areas with green, unpopulated corridors is so important. Sometimes green bridges or tunnels under highways are used to enable the animals to hike.
3. Solution of human-tiger conflicts
If a cow is torn by a tiger, that can destroy the existence of a whole family. Therefore, the destitute people are paid compensation for torn cattle and solid stables built to protect the animals, especially at night. To collect firewood, the locals, mostly women, often go deep into the forest, and thus they invade the habitat of the tiger. The use of operated biogas plants for energy generation helps to avoid conflicts with tigers.
The WWF has financed 170 such biogas plants together with the German Development Bank (KfW) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and around 400 stables provided for the protection of cattle and goats.
4. Combating illegal wild animal trade
Border controls on neighboring countries, as well as surveillance of well-known illegal trade routes, are constantly being improved and customs officials, border police and prosecutors are being trained.
Especially in China and in Vietnam, there is still a great demand for tiger products, which are sold as a status symbol, talisman or supposed remedy in traditional Chinese “medicine”.
Tiger parts often end in dubious “medicine”, bone plaster for example… © Wil Lui / WWF
My comment: We can hope that the population of tigers in Nepal is getting bigger and bigger.
And that the example of Nepal also follow other countries.
Nepal: stay strong, don`t let up!
Best regards, Venus