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Good News: Nepal's tiger population has more than doubled since 2009

BY Alice Gawthrop

16th Nov 2022 Good News

Good News: Nepal's tiger population has more than doubled since 2009

Despite countless threats to tigers, Nepal's conservation efforts have seen the country's tiger population increase by 190 per cent since 2009

Tigers are faced with many threats, including poaching, illegal trade and habitat loss to name a few. It’s little wonder that their population has declined from 100,000 a century ago to just 3,500 today. 

But despite these challenges, Nepal’s wild tigers have triumphantly returned from the brink of extinction with a 190 per cent population increase since 2009.

Nepal’s tiger population

According to Nepal’s National Tiger and Prey Survey 2022, there are now 355 wild tigers in the country, compared to 121 in 2010. This amounts to a 190 per cent increase, meaning that the country nearly tripled its tiger population. 

Ginette Hemley, senior vice president for wildlife conservation at the WWF US, told CNN, “Tigers in Nepal and everywhere else that they live in Asia, about 10 countries, were on a steady decline because of two key reasons. The most immediate reason was poaching for the illegal animal trade. The second reason was loss of habitat.”

How did Nepal achieve this?

To achieve this comeback in tiger numbers, Nepal clamped down on poaching, with anti-poaching groups patrolling protected areas. Another factor in the country's success was the restoration of corridors to facilitate the safe passage and genetic dispersal of tigers in protected areas. 

Hemley said, “[Nepal] really does stand out as a leader in conservation, especially for tigers…There is support for conservation of tigers at the highest level of government. That has translated into really effective habitat conservation, bolstering the protection of tigers in national parks, the wildlife reserves.” 

"Nepal really does stand out as a leader in conservation, especially for tigers"

As well as government support, she pointed to community involvement in conservation projects as a reason for Nepal’s success. 

It’s important to note that the increase in wild tigers has come with an increase in deaths of people living near forest lands. Hopefully we will continue to see a recovery in tiger populations, as well as measures taken to protect local communities.

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