News / Science & Technology

Conservationists Excited by Tiger Population Rise in Nepal

A Royal Bengal tiger walks in Bardiya National Park in southern Nepal,  March 1, 2013.
A Royal Bengal tiger walks in Bardiya National Park in southern Nepal, March 1, 2013.
Reuters
The number of wild Royal Bengal tigers in Nepal has increased to 198, a 63.6 percent rise in five years, a government survey of the big cats showed.
 
The findings are crucial for the protection of endangered tigers facing the threat of extinction from poachers for the lucrative trade in their parts, encroachment of habitat by villagers due to the rise in human settlements and loss of prey.
 
Conflicts between people and wild animals are frequent in Nepal, which has pledged to double the population of tigers by the year 2022 from an estimated 2010 level of 125.
 
“This is very encouraging,” said Maheshwar Dhakal, an ecologist with Nepal's National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Department, adding that the Himalayan nation was on target to achieve its goal ahead of the deadline.
 
“But the increased numbers have also added to our responsibilities and challenges for the conservation of tigers,” Dhakal told Reuters after releasing the findings of the four-month survey late on Monday.
 
The study was supported by the conservation group WWF and the United States.
 
Conservation experts credit the increase to effective policing of national parks, stronger anti-poaching drives and better management of tiger habitats in Nepal, where forests cover 29 percent of the land.
 
Nepal needs to carefully protect the habitat and animals on which tigers prey so the big cats have enough space to roam and food to eat, experts said.
 
As the number of tigers have increased over the years, so have incidents of conflict with villagers.
 
Seven people were killed in attacks by tigers around national parks last year compared to four in 2011, park officials said.
 
Villagers are also seeking better protection.
 
“Government is making conservation plans for tigers. But it should also come up with plans to protect people from tigers,” Krishna Bhurtel, a local village headman in Chitwan, told Nepali newspaper Nagarik. Chitwan is home to more than 100 tigers.
 
Wildlife authorities captured a tiger in Chitwan after it killed two people, including a villager who was pulled from his bed in May.
 
Thousands of tigers once roamed the forests in Bangladesh, India and Nepal. But their numbers have plummeted to just about 3,000 now, wildlife experts say.
 
Diwakar Chapagain, who heads a WWF Nepal unit which monitors wildlife trade, said tiger skins were in high demand in Tibet where well-heeled people use them as festival costumes.
 
In Nepal, kings used to stand on tiger skins in front of stuffed tigers for special occasions. The monarchy was abolished in 2008.
 
Some affluent Nepalis have mounted tiger heads on the walls of their living rooms.
 
Tiger parts are also in high demand for use in traditional Chinese medicines, conservationists say.
 
“The trade in tiger parts is lucrative and fetches thousands of dollars in illegal markets,” WWF official Chapagain said highlighting the threat tigers face.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid