Experts to work out ways to save tigers

Kathmandu, April 15:

Experts on tiger conservation are meeting in Kathmandu from April 16 to 20 to find ways to save the endangered species from being totally extinct.

Out of the eight sub-species of tigers, only five species — Siberian tiger, South China tiger, Indo-Chinese tiger, Sumatran tiger and Royal Bengal tiger — are found these days. It is believed that around 5,000 to 7,000 tigers are left in the world.

SC Dey, the general-secretary of the Global Tiger Forum, said that around 100 representatives from 12 countries are participating in the International Tiger Symposium.

The symposium is being organised by the MoFSC and Global Tiger Forum (GTF) in cooperation with national and international conservation partners.

Dey said the representatives will present some 20 papers and come up with ways to protect the remaining species of tigers from being extinct. “The tiger conservation scenario is deplorable worldwide. We are very sorry to say that the tiger population in the world is on the decline. Being the apex of the ecosystem pyramid, extinction of tigers is going to cast adverse impact on each and every wildlife species and vegetation.”

According to him, habitat destruction, shrinkage in prey base, man-tiger conflict, global pressure of consumerism and unsatisfactory progress of some protected land are the causes behind the decline in the population of tiger.

The chairman of the organising committee, Ananta Parajuli, said that the symposium, among others, will encourage countries to prepare and implement their individual tiger action plans for protection and growth of the tiger population and its prey base.

“Improvement of the habitat and common preservation programme can be taken up bilaterally by the range countries having adjoining habitats, but their implementation should be carried out separately by the respective range countries,” he further said.

The population of tiger is reported stable in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Russia and its on the decline in India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Laos.

But Nepal is yet to produce any updated data on tiger population. According to data collected five years ago, Nepal has 350 to 370 tigers.

Jhama Bahadur Karki, the conservation officer at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, said Nepal’s tiger population is between 350 and 370.

He also admitted that data on tiger population has not been updated.

“The Tiger count was conducted in 2002. In 2005 and 2006, it could be done only in the Shuklafanta Wildlife Reserve. Tiger count is going on in Bardiya district presently,” he further said.