Nepal may meet tiger goal

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The Kathmandu Post
November 13, 2010

Nepal is hopeful of accomplishing the target of doubling the wild tiger population by 2022, an official said.

Ahead of the International Global Tiger Forum (GTF) being organised in St. Petersburg, Russia, from Nov. 21-Nov. 24, Nepal has taken the leadership in achieving global tiger recovery plan, said Shanta Raj Gyawali, programme director at the National Trust for Nature Conservation.

The tiger forum, which is billed as the last chance to save the tiger, will be attended by heads of states and officials of 13 different tiger countries in the world, including Nepal.

Nepal is committed to and has already accomplished some targets set during the Global Tiger Forum held last year in the capital in an effort to save the population of these endangered cats in the country, he said.

In the last tiger forum, the government had committed itself to increasing tiger habitats, empower the national level network to fight against illegal trade and encourage funding for initiatives to be taken for the protection of tigers in the country.

According to the latest census conducted this year, Nepal has a total of 155 adult tigers. “The government has decided to increase tiger habitats by establishing Banke National Park this year,” Jnawali said.

Meanwhile, the National Tiger Conservation Committee under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal has been set up and the formation of a Wildlife Control Bureau to save the population of tigers in the country is in the pipeline.

However, threats still persist and conservationists across the globe have urged leaders to take stringent action to save the tigers from extinction. The tiger range countries have failed to control poaching and illegal trade due to increased demand for tiger body parts in the international market for traditional medicines, said Ravi Sharma Aryal, CITES expert.

In Nepal, illegal trade with China and India, uncontrolled poaching, habitat disturbance and maintenance are the major concerns for conservationists working for tiger conservation.

According to a report publicised by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) based in UK last week, China is the main destination for poached Asian big cat parts, while there is still demand in other countries.
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