Hanoi, Nov 19: Nepal’s Environment Minister Shankar Bhandari assured the Hanoi deliberations on wildlife that his country will take necessary steps to increase the number of tigers by 2018 in his country.
“If all goes well, Nepal is ready to double the tiger population by 2018, four years ahead of the deadline set for 2022. And if we can safeguard tigers, we can also easily protect other species of animals”, he said.
According to AsiaNews, representatives from Nepal attending the global meet on wildlife at Hanoi said that population of tigers in their country has already increased by 70 percent and the Kathmandu will reach the targets set four years in advance.
Wildlife experts from all over the globe had gathered recently at Hanoi to discuss the protection of wildlife, particularly the tigers. British Prince William was present in the Vietnamese capital to raise public awareness about the wild species facing extinction threats.
The tiger is one of the animals most at risk of extinction, with fewer than 4 thousand specimens (of which more than half in India). A century ago, the population amounted to 100 thousand individuals. In 2010 in St. Petersburg, 13 countries that are home to big cats in their territory - including Vietnam, Russia, Thailand and Indonesia - have united in a worldwide task force (the "TX2") aiming to double the number of tigers by 2022. Kathmandu’s aim is to rise from 121 specimens to more than 250.
Despite the good results obtained from Nepal, the experts point out that problems remain. Maheshwor Dhakal, deputy director of the Department of National Parks, said: “The lack of a census carried out with scientific methods and coordination between the various neighbouring countries, makes doubling the tiger population more difficult.”
Kanchan Thapa, a biologist with WWF Tigers, confirms the optimism of the Nepalese government: “If we maintain this spirit of conservatism in all areas where the tigers are at risk, we will reach the goal by 2018. Other countries are worried by the decline of tigers, but in Nepal, there’s already been a 70% increase”. This result was achieved mainly thanks to the control of poaching.