A July 2012 camera trap study in Nepal identified 37 individual tigers—a marked increase from 18 tigers counted in 2009. The tigers were monitored over a three-month period inside Bardia National Park in Nepal and the Khata wildlife corridor in the Terai Arc Landscape.
This exciting news is a result of Nepal’s commitment to reaching TX2—an initiative to double tiger populations by 2022, the next year of the tiger.
“This is proof that doubling the number of wild tigers is achievable if efforts by local communities and rangers on the frontlines of tiger conservation are complemented by high-level political support,” said Shubash Lohani of WWF’s Eastern Himalayas program.
The study also found that tigers used the wildlife corridor—a forested stretch of land that connects protected habitats— to move between Nepal’s park and a wildlife sanctuary in India. This discovery stresses the importance of wildlife corridors for tigers and other species in this transboundary landscape.
WWF’s Support for Tiger Conservation
WWF designed the study in consultation with partners and provided technical and financial support for research. We also organized trainings for field staff and technicians. The camera trap study was a joint effort of the Government of Nepal, WWF and National Trust for Nature Conservation.
WWF continues to work with community-based antipoaching units to stop wildlife crime. In 2011, grassroots antipoaching activities supported by WWF led to locals voluntarily giving up 135 guns to the park.
Rangers and park authorities have been able to curb poaching with improved patrolling operations and coordination with law enforcement. More than 300 poachers and traders were arrested in Nepal in 2011 alone. Fifteen new ranger posts have been constructed in the park, bringing the current total to 31.