Nepal could become first country to double wild tiger population

There are now an estimated 235 wild tigers in Nepal, which doubles the figure of around 121 recorded in 2009. With these trends, the country could become the first to double its national tiger population, says WWF.

Nepal has announced that there are now an estimated 235 wild tigers in the country, a figure that nearly doubles the baseline of around 121 tigers in 2009.

If these positive trends continue, the country could become the first to double its national tiger population since the TX2 goal to double the world’s wild tiger population by 2022 was set in 2010.

“This significant increase in Nepal’s tiger population is proof that when we work together, we can save the planet’s wildlife – even species facing extinction,” commented Leonardo DiCaprio, WWF-US board member and chairman of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, in a WWF statement.

He added: “Nepal has been a leader in efforts to double tigers within its own borders and serves as a model for conservation for all of Asia and the world. I am proud of my foundation’s partnership with WWF to support Nepal and local communities in doubling the population of wild tigers.”

Nepal conducted its national tiger survey between November 2017 and April 2018 in the transboundary Terai Arc Landscape, with camera traps and occupancy surveys used to estimate tiger occupancy and abundance.

According to WWF, Nepal’s success can be largely attributed to the country’s political commitment and the adoption of innovative tools and approaches towards tiger conservation. It was the first country to achieve global standards in managing tiger conservation areas.

“Every tiger counts, for Nepal and for the world. While Nepal is but a few tigers away from our goal to double tiger numbers by 2022, it also underscores the continued need to ensure protection,” commented Ghana S Gurung, Country Representative WWF-Nepal.

Photo credit: Tambako The Jaguar/ CC BY-ND 2.0

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