In a move strengthening Indo-Nepal ties, Nepal has decided to support India in in a noble cause related to wildlife conservation.
In a first of its kind exercise, Nepal will be coordinating with India in the latter’s efforts towards estimate the tiger count.
Officials from both the countries have formed a resolution in this regard in a recently-held meeting to simultaneously estimate the number of tigers.
“The resolution was passed and now we will work on the module which will be followed along the border,” says Nishant Verma, DIG of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), who was one of the key attendees of the meeting.
Both the sides also discussed trans-boundary cooperation to fight against wildlife crime through regular meetings on the issue, joint patrolling and exchange of information, among other measures.
This initiative by India and Nepal gains significance in view of the recent revelation by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Initiative, wherein, it said that ‘there were about 11 tigers that reached Nepal boosting the population of the specie which was under severe poaching threat’.
The idea behind this initiative is to synchronize the monitoring process of big cats across the Indo-Nepal border areas.
In India, monitoring of tiger reserves is done annually through the Phase IV analysis, followed by the estimation exercise across states once in every four years.
Whereas, Nepal’s monitoring activity has been based on protocols of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the apex body that checks tiger conservation in India.
Nepal has around 200 tigers compared to India, which reported 2,226 tigers in its last estimation in 2014-15.
“We share common boundary and this comprehensive estimation will help both countries in estimating tiger numbers especially on border areas,” says Bivash Pandav, Scientist at Wildlife Institute of India.
The joint exercise will extend from Dudhwa National Park of Uttar Pradesh till the Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary and Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary of Nepal. Valmiki Tiger Reserve of Bihar, Pilibhit Tiger Reserve of UP, Chitwan National Park and Shukhlaphanta of Nepal would be covered in the process.
Whereas in Uttarakhand, the boundary is shared across Pithoragarh and Campawat forest divisions.