Sunday, March 11, 2007

Nepal: Nat'l Park refutes news report on tiger decline

KATHMANDU, March 8 - The Bardia National Park (BNP) on Thursday refuted a news report published in ekantipur on the decline of the tiger population in the park.

On Wednesday ekantipur had reported that the recent tiger census conducted by the Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) programme in association with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) had stated that only two tigers remain in the park – a massive decline from the last census conducted by the park in 2002 through camera trapping method which had put the number at 43.

In a statement issued today, BNP said the information about the current number of tigers in BNP in the ekantipur report was mistaken.

“As we all are aware of the fact that the tiger is an endangered flagship species of Nepal and BNP has privileged to hold a very good and healthy population of tiger,” the statement added.

Saying that the estimated population of tigers through camera trapping technique was 42 adult breeding tigers in 2001, the BNP said the census carried out last year couldn't cover the whole area of BNP (968 km2) due to the Maoist conflict. "In 2006, Terai Arc Landscape Program and BNP carried out tiger census on about 100 km2 out of 968 km2 within the BNP. At that census we got 3 tigers in camera trapping within the 100 km2 area. It doesn't mean that the BNP has only 3 tigers left."

The statement also said, "To assess the state and habitat analysis of tiger in BNP, we have initiated tiger census since Janaury 2007. In the preliminary survey carried out through pugmark technique, we estimated healthy population of tiger i.e. over 40 breeding adults," adding that BNP has initiated a camera trapping monitoring of tigers to have a very scientific estimate.

"As wildlife biologists are in the process of tiger census, it is premature to estimate the tiger population without in depth analysis of trapped photos. The census is expected to be completed by the end of April 2007."

Posted on: 2007-03-08 10:44:52 (Server Time)

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