The tiger population in Nepal has been dwindling steadily since the start of the new millennium. There are now just around 340 left in the wild in Nepal. Earlier this year, National Parks and Conservation Department census of the wild cats at the Suklaphanta Wildlife Conservation Area in Western Nepal had revealed a shocking decline in their number. The Chitwan National Park is conducting its own census beginning November, with park authorities expecting a similar outcome. It is estimated that the plight of tigers in Bardiya National Park is no better.

The lucrative Chinese tiger parts market is by and large to be blamed for the increase in frequency of tiger killings in Nepal. It is worth recalling that last year Chinese businessmen had lobbied Nepal government to ease the trade in tiger parts. Inside the country, lack of funds and manpower, and complicity of security personnel with poachers, have had a devastating impact on tiger population. As Nepal is a conduit for poachers plying their trade between India and China, cooperation of both the neighbours is vital to improving the gloomy outlook for Nepali tigers. The government, for its part, should intensify security in conservation

parks with the help of added foot on the ground and pass strict anti-poaching laws. No resource should be spared to protect these beautiful animals for the posterity.