WWF congratulates Nepal for historic doubling of wild tiger numbers
Posted on 29 July 2022
- Nepal has more than doubled the number of wild tigers to 355 individuals according to the results of the National Tiger and Prey Survey released today.
- The historic over 190 per cent increase since 2009 is a result of the protection of key tiger habitats and corridors, partnership with local communities and cracking down on illegal wildlife trade.
- Tiger range countries are meeting next month to begin discussions on the next 12-year commitments for tiger conservation under the Global Tiger Recovery Program.
An extensive effort covering 18,928 sq. km - over 12 per cent of the country - and 16,811 days of field staff time was invested to complete the survey. The results bring both great hope and reassurance about the tigers’ long-term future in Nepal.
The target to double wild tigers, also known as TX2, was set by governments in 2010 at the St.Petersburg International summit on tiger conservation. With this announcement Nepal is the first country to release updated tiger numbers during the Year of the Tiger. Tiger range countries are meeting next month to begin discussions on the next 12-year commitments for tiger conservation under the Global Tiger Recovery Program.
WWF-Nepal was an implementing partner in the survey which was led by the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation with support also from other conservation organisations (National Trust for Nature Conservation and ZSL Nepal). WWF-Nepal was involved from survey design to data analysis via both technical and financial support to the Government.
While the future of Nepal’s tigers across vast landscapes has always been a challenge in the face of various threats, the latest estimate indicates the relevance of the conservation measures that have been implemented by the Government, WWF and other organisations working in the sector.
Ghana S. Gurung, Country Director, WWF-Nepal, said, “This conservation win is a result of political will and concerted efforts of local communities, youths, enforcement agencies, and conservation partners under the leadership of Government of Nepal.”
Stuart Chapman, Tigers Alive Initiative Leader, WWF said “The doubling of Nepal’s tiger population is an extraordinary achievement and is the result of sustained conservation effort over many years. Nepal has demonstrated the highest conservation standards in reaching this historic milestone. There is clearly much to learn from Nepal's tiger population recovery over the last 12 years.”
NOTES TO EDITORAbout WWF
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Why tigers matter
As the world’s largest cat and an apex predator, tigers play a significant role in the structure and function of the ecosystem on which both humans and wildlife rely. They are a “landscape” species, needing large areas with diverse habitats, free from human disturbance and rich in prey. Success or failure means more than securing the future of a single iconic species – it sets a precedent for how we will consider and prioritise the health of nature in global development and in a changing climate going forward. For more information see: tigers.panda.org
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