As the World Tiger Day is celebrated, Nepal has made remarkable progress among the 13 tiger range countries by making significant progress towards achieving the ambitious goal set during the Tiger Summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 2010.
According to the latest census conducted in 2022, Nepal’s tiger population has shown extraordinary growth, reaching 355 from 121 in 2010 – a three-fold increase.
Alongside India, it is one of the two nations that have made remarkable progress in tiger conservation. Ghana Shyam Gurung, Country Representative of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Nepal however worried about the growing human tiger conflicts. “Wild animals will always remain wild, but it is essential to change human behavior towards them to minimise any further damage,” said Gurung.
Achieving harmonious coexistence between humans and wildlife involves adopting measures that allow both to share habitats peacefully, without compromising the well-being of either, he said. Raising awareness among local communities about the significance of conserving and respecting natural wildlife habitats is vital, he added.
According to Gurung, effective grassland management is another essential part of maintaining wildlife within its natural habitats, promoting a harmonious coexistence. Additionally, focusing on preserving and enhancing water sources is vital for supporting the diverse needs of wildlife and sustaining their ecosystem, he added.
“Monitoring wildlife using camera traps is a valuable conservation tool, enabling us to better understand their behaviours and population dynamics. In case of any arising problems, such as a potentially dangerous or problematic tiger, timely and responsible actions, like rescuing and relocating the animal when necessary, should be taken to ensure the safety of both wildlife and nearby communities,” Gurung said at a press meet and interaction programme organised by the WWF on the eve of Global Tiger Day 2023 on Friday.
As the country is preparing to mark World Tiger Day on Saturday (July 29), experts are focusing on the coexistence to promote community-based conservation and strengthening anti-poaching measures.
To achieve this goal, they are diligently working on finalizing the National Tiger Recovery (Management) Plan, which is currently in its last stages. This comprehensive plan aims to address the challenges posed by human-tiger interactions and pave the way for sustainable tiger conservation while promoting the well-being of local communities.