Some good news from Nepal.
KATHMANDU: Six-month-long tiger census made public today reveals that the tiger population in the country has gone up to 155 from 121 last year.
In 2009, the counting was done in Chitwan, Parsa, Bardia, and Suklaphanta, which revealed 121 tigers. But this year, tigers were counted only in Chitwan only and the number exceeded last year’s total population.
For the count, 310 sets of cameras were installed in Chitwan National Park including Churia and Barandabhar buffer zone, spread over 1,261 square kilometres.
“Field study for population counting was done between December and March. The number of tigers in Chitwan National Park has increased from 91 to 125,” said Jhamak
Bahadur Karki, coordinator of tiger research programme, Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation. According to Karki, Nepal now boasts about six tigers per 100 sq km in the Tarai districts which is the prime habitat of the big cats.
“This is not a dramatic change. We should not forget that about 700 square km of the adjoining Churia hills, which is a potential habitat of tigers, was added in the survey area this year,”said Bibas Pandav, tiger expert, WWF.
Tiger monitoring in CNP was conducted by the DNPWC with the support of National Trust for Nature Conservation and World Wildlife Fund, incurring an expenditure of Rs 28 lakhs.
“Nepal has been giving tiger conservation top priority. An increase in the population of the endangered species may set an example for other countries where tigers are found,” said Shanta Raj Jnawali, Tarai Director, National Trust for Nature Conservation.
Cameras that automatically capture the images of any living thing that passes by them, using the capture recapture method.
• Chitwan -125 (91 in 2009,125 in 2010)
• Bardia -18 (2009)
• Suklaphanta- 8 (2009)
• Parsa - 4 (2009)
• 310 sets of cameras fixed in Chitwan National Park for 20 days
• Cameras placed at a
distance of 1.5 to 2.25 km
• 1,32,000 photographs captured, with 11,589 images of animals
• 367 photographs of tigers (left flanks: 162; right flanks: 182; cubs and unidentified: 23)