In an impressive show of progress for wildlife, Nepal is set to become the first nation in the world to increase its wild tiger population by 2x times under the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) TX2 Goal.
The TX2 Goal, initiated in 2010, aims to double the world’s tiger population by 2022. And 13 tiger range countries, including Nepal, have pledged to do so.
According to the country’s most recent tiger survey, there were an estimated 235 wild tigers in 2018, nearly twice the number of tigers in 2010. There were only about 120 of the endangered animals in 2010.
The survey was conducted by Nepal’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) in partnership with WWF-Nepal.
They tracked the animals in the protected areas and wildlife corridors in the Terai Arc Landscape using 4,387 camera trap images, line transects, and occupancy and prey density surveys.
On the occasion of International Tiger Day on July 29, Bishnu Prasad Shrestha, Information Officer at the DNPWC, said that Nepal has the proudest moment among the global countries.
He expressed that Nepal is on track to become the first tiger range country to fulfill its commitment to double the tiger population by 2022.
Meanwhile, Maheshwor Dhakal, Chief at the Climate Change Division under the Forest Ministry, said that Nepal has many challenges despite a positive path in tiger conservation.
He exclaimed that Nepal has to deal with challenges such as habitat maintenance, human-tiger conflict, trafficking, illegal trade, climate change, and coronavirus pandemic to have the same progress in the future.
“There should be grassroots level teamwork among national bodies for the conservation and protection of tigers,” said Dhakal.
Nepal is enjoying success at the time when many of the world’s tiger population are in decline due to habitat loss and widespread poaching.
“Nepal is a great example for other tiger range countries to step up and commit to the same level of political will and excellence. While this is a huge story for tiger conservation, it also highlights the constant need to ensure the protection of key habitats and the value of a landscape approach for this species to recover and thrive,” said Ginette Hemley, Senior Vice President of Wildlife Conservation at World Wildlife Fund.