Banke National Park, recognized by locals as “a Gift to the Earth” for its rich biodiversity and important habitats, was declared in the year 2010 – making it Nepal’s youngest National Park.
Despite being Nepal’s youngest National Park, its tiger population has doubled from (3-7) tigers in 2013 to 8 (7-11) in 2016 as shown by a study conducted jointly by the Department of National park and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC), WWF Nepal and National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC).
Bringing tigers back to the area was previously thought to be impossible. Banke National Park’s success demonstrated again Nepal’s government commitment to our Tx2 goal. Already, Nepal has made significant steps towards successful conservation such as adopting a Zero Poaching approach and moving towards CA|TS scheme.
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE SO FAR:
The Nepal Army is deployed to patrol the park regularly. 21 posts are constructed since 2010 to mark areas to detect poaching activities.
Prey based is projected to increase with intensive habitat management, inclusive of >300ha of grassland & 4 wetlands
Voluntary relocation of two villagers inside the park to a preferred location was supported by the government of Nepal and has since been converted to productive grasslands
Real-time SMART tool is used to effective law enforcement and site-based conservation activities.
Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and WWF-UK continue to fund SMART training and implementation that WWF Canada was supporting before.
Further development of habitat and wildlife management is regularly supported by WWF, World Bank and government special fund for tiger conservation.
Communities from the buffer-zone of Banke National Park are actively engaged to contribute to the conservation cause including interventions in integrated livestock management, alternative energy, support for human-wildlife mitigation and alternative livelihoods.
This is realized through Terai Arc Landscape Program; a joint project of Government of Nepal, Ministry of Forest and Soil conservation and WWF-Nepal.
32 local communities in 2013-2014 are trained as citizen scientists to monitor tiger and prey in the park.
TOWARDS TX2 GOAL
Almost a barren forest prior to 2010, park management has restored the quality of forests and wildlife habitats and re-colonization of species in Banke National Park.
Tigers have found their home here since heavy pressure from logging, livestock grazing, prey poaching, woodcutting etc has been dealt with. It is no longer considered a rare event to find signs of their presence. For the first time, tiger breeding was recorded with two female tigers accompanied by one cub each!
The Park joins Bardia National Park towards the West and is linked to a transboundary landscape that connects Suhelwa Wildlife Sanctuary in India towards the South.
Through collaboration within and between countries, the global goal of Tx2 can be achieved.