Sep 21, 2014
KATHMANDU- Though landscape-based biodiversity conservation efforts between Nepal and India have contributed to the protection of endangered tiger species, increasing anthropogenic pressures on wildlife and their habitats threatened their long-term existence, according to the findings of the first ever trans-boundary tiger survey. The survey conducted between November 2012 and June 2013 recorded a total of 239 adult tigers in 12 protected areas and reserves as well as three biological corridors (protected forests) and adjoining forest patches in Nepal and India that are trans-boundary in nature. The total number of tigers was identified from the study based on camera trap methodology in the area covering around 5,300 square kilometres in the Terai Arc Landscape of Nepal and India. Similarly, of the total tigers counted, 89 were adult males and 145 were adult females while the gender of five others could not be determined. “The encouraging result of the landscape-wide tiger survey is indeed a testimony of increased trans-boundary cooperation between the governments of Nepal and India,” said Tikaram Adhikari, director general at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation. He said the survey has also created opportunities to strengthen cooperation in biodiversity conservation and building community ownership in protecting nature and wildlife.One of the major findings of the survey is that tigers are found to exist as one wholly-connected population in the protected areas of Chitwan National Park in Nepal and Valmiki Tiger Reserve in India as well as in Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve in Nepal and the Lagga-Bagga Block of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve in India. The movement of tigers between the two countries was photo-documented along the Khata corridor (between Bardia National Park and Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary) and Shuklaphanta-Tatarjanj-Pilibhit Corridor.
photo Courtesy : NGC
The findings of the study were shared in Dhaka during the 2nd Stocktaking Conference of The Global Tiger Recovery Programme that concluded on Tuesday. The study was led by the governments of both countries in partnership with their conservation and development partners, including WWF, the National Trust for Nature Conservation and local communities. The report, however, outlines some key challenges that are impacting the tigers and prey densities in some habitats, such as poaching, livestock grazing and the entry of large number of wood and grass collectors deep into wildlife habitats. Proposed development of new roads in Nepal and India and establishment of new settlements near the existing tiger habitats is seen as significant threat to the survival of these animals, the report has stated. “The Terai Arc Landscape exemplifies the importance of connectivity for wildlife such as tigers to thrive,” said Ghana S Gurung, senior conservation programme director at WWF Nepal. A national-level study done in Nepal in 2013 that concentrated in five protected areas and three wildlife corridors along the southern Tarai plains found that total number of tigers at 198, an increase of 63 percent compared to the 2009 count.
As posted in Ekantipur.com