Tuesday 7 December 2021

Nepal to count their Bengal tigers using 4000 camera traps

Nepal's National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Department is going to count, as accurately as possible, the number of Bengal tigers in their country. In order to achieve this accuracy they will install nearly 4000 camera traps (motion-sensitive cameras attached to vertical objects) across more than 12,000 km² (4000 mi²) of protected areas and forests.

Bengal tiger
Bengal tiger. Photo: National Trust for Nature Conservation

They want to assess whether their strategies in conserving and protecting the tiger are working. In Asia, we know that the Bengal tiger is under great pressure and has been for a very long time because of human activity which results in deforestation, loss of habitat, poaching for tiger body parts as funded by sales of traditional Chinese medicine products in China and other reasons such as the reserves being too small sometimes and the lack of proper administration of the reserves. I'm referring in the last point to India by the way.

The 2010 Tiger Conservation Plan was backed by Leonardo DiCaprio. That plan was a pledge to boost Nepal's tiger population. In 2018 it was estimated that there were 235 Bengal tigers in Nepal. The figure was up almost double from nine years earlier.

There are around 3,500 Bengal tigers in the wild. You'll varying numbers because of difficulties in counting them. Some claim 3,800.

The results of the current widespread survey are expected in July.

"Five protected areas, namely, Parsa National Park, Chitwan National Park, Banke National Park, Bardia National Park and Suklaphanta National Park harbor tiger populations. Besides these protected areas, various national and community forests serve as tiger habitats that enable habitat interconnectivity and allow their dispersal." - National Trust for Nature Conservation.

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