Nepal is leading by example when it comes to conservation of the rhinos. Earlier in May, the country marked two years since its last rhino was poached (May 2nd, 2014), however the same cannot be said for the protection of tigers in the country with growing concerns over poaching activities and news of skilled poachers operating along the India-Nepal border.
A recent news report on The Kathmandu Post shared that park authorities and security officials are on high alert after receiving information about tribal gypsy groups from India entering the Nepali territory. Banjaras are known for poaching endangered animals including tigers. The news article by Pragati Shahi also shared that 14 tigers have been killed in Nepal between January 2015 and March 2016. The killings of the animal has also involved locals.
The tiger census of 2013 suggested that there are 198 wild tigers in Nepal.
You will be slightly relieved to know that two notorious poachers Sher Bahadur Lama and Lal Bahadur also known as Raj Bahadur BK have been arrested for the illegal activity. Sher Bahadur Lama committed suicide while in custody on May 14.
Fortunately, the National Trust for Nature Conservation has signed an agreement with the Zoological Society of London to raise awareness about endangered animals, conservation and poaching in the national parks and protected areas along the Terai and Nepal-India border. According to The Kathmandu Post:
The agreement signed between Govinda Parajuli, member secretary at the NTNC and Hem Sagar Baral, national coordinator of ZSL in Nepal, focuses on conducting camera trapping to study the status of tiger and their prey species, providing training to increase the capacity of government authorities working in conservation, improving the effectiveness of security network, setting up new security posts and support in patrolling inside the protected areas.
The three-year project with an estimated cost of Rs 95.23 million will be implemented with the involvement of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Reserve, ZSL and local communities, according to the agreement. It will also work to enhance the capacity of community-based units in various districts to combat poaching and illegal wildlife trade. The 13 tiger range countries, including Nepal, in 2010 pledged to double the existing wild tiger populations by 2022. Nepal is home to 198 wild tigers, as per the 2013 census. (Read More)