Tiger census will be kicking off in Nepal on coming December 5. The national event to be led by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation will be launched from the Chitwan National Park (CNP).
Five parks across the country currently serve as habitats for this endangered animal. The census will cover Chitwan, Bardiya, Parsa, Shuklaphanta, and Banke National Parks and adjoining forests. According to CNP Chief Conservation Officer, Hari Bhandra Acharya, this season is considered a good time for tiger census as they are more visible in winter than during other seasons.
For the census, the parks will be divided into five complexes: Chitwan and Parsa (first complex), Banke and Bardiya (second), and Shuklaphanta and nearby Laljhandai area (third).
The event is to be formally begun on the witnesses of Minister for Forest and Environment Ram Sahay Prasad Yadav and other senior government officials. As Acharya said, they target to complete the tiger counting by mid-January, 2022, and a capture and recapture model will be employed for it.
A pair of cameras will be fixed each in a distance of four kilometers for at least two weeks to track the animal.
The previous 2018 tiger census put the population of adult tigers at 235. The highest number (93) was counted in the CNP followed by 87 in Bardiya, 21 in Banke, 18 in Parsa, and 16 in Shuklaphanta. This figure is expected to rise over the course of time.
The 2010 Global Conference participated by 13 countries (where tigers are found) held in St Petersburg, Russia, had pledged to double the population of tigers by 2022 and Nepal also vowed to increase its number from 121 to 250.
Tiger conservationists are hopeful that Nepal would live up to its promise to double the tigers’ population by the given time. Nepal conducts the tiger census every four years.