Nepal's tigers on the rebound

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
July 30, 2013



Nearly two hundred tigers roam the lowland forests of Nepal, according to a new survey. This is a 63 percent increase in the country's tiger population since 2009, and rare good news for global efforts to save the tiger from extinction.

The survey counted 198 Bengal tigers (Panthera tigris tigris) across five parks and three wildlife corridors in Nepal. Tiger number were up everywhere, but in Bardia National Park the population went from just 18 individuals in 2009 to 50 today (an increase of 277 percent). Still, tigers have a ways to go in Nepal before really recovering: in 2000 there were an estimated 360-370 tigers in the country.

At a Tiger Summit in 2010, all 13 tiger range countries pledged to double global tiger numbers by 2022. The first-ever of its kind summit raised $300 million for tiger conservation efforts.

Scientists estimate that only around 3,000 tigers survive in the wild today, a 95 percent drop from their population at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. Tigers have been decimated by habitat destruction, prey decline, and poaching for skins and traditional medicine.

Tigers are the world's largest cat, with Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica) the biggest of all. Today, six subspecies of tiger survive. Three have gone extinct in the last century alone and one of the remaining subspecies, South China tiger (Panthera tigris amoyensis), may be extinct in the wild.



Bengal tiger in Rantgambhore National Park. Photo by: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen
Bengal tiger in Rantgambhore National Park. Photo by: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen/Creative Commons 3.0.















AUTHOR: Jeremy Hance joined Mongabay full-time in 2009. He currently serves as senior writer and editor. He has also authored a book.




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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (July 30, 2013).

Nepal's tigers on the rebound.

http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0730-hance-nepal-tigers.html