Nepal tiger population likely to double by 2022

CHITWAN: The tiger population in Chitwan National Park (CNP) of Nepal is gradually increasing, bringing Nepal closer toward achievement of its international pledge to double the number of big cats by 2022.

The CNP is tightening scrutiny for controlling the rampant poaching of the endangered species, accelerating a rise in the number of tigers inhabiting the national park.

The CNP Chief Conservation Officer Ram Chandra Kandel said regular monitoring in the Park has found the increasing number of tigers, though no census has been carried out since 2013.

In 2013, Nepal's tiger population had reached 198 including 120 in the CNP, 50 in the Bardiya National Park, four in the Banke National Park, seven in the Parsa Wildlife Reserve and 17 in the Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve.

At the International Tiger Conference held in St Petersburg in 2010, participating countries including Nepal had made a commitment to double the tiger population by 2022. In 2010, the population of tigers was recorded at around 125.

There were around 300,000 tigers worldwide 70 years ago. The number, however, had dramatically fallen to 3,000 by 2010.