Nepal to start nationwide tiger census
November 4, 2008 1:50 pm by pna
KATHMANDU, Nov. 4 — In an effort to record the dwindling tiger population in major natural wildlife reserves and forest areas of Nepal, wildlife experts are going to start a nationwide tiger census beginning from Nov. 15, The Kathmandu Post reported on Tuesday.
According to Narendra Babu Pradhan, planning officer at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC), the tiger census, which will last for three months, will use digital camera trapping system for the first time to track the tigers with photographs.
"We will start our census from Chitwan National Park and then move on to Bardiya National Park and Sukhlaphanta Wildlife Reserve, " he said. The census will also track tigers living in forest areas outside protected areas, Pradhan was quoted by the daily as saying.
According to the report, the three areas have been separated into five, four and two blocks, respectively, to facilitate the census. In addition to digital camera method, camera trapping technique and patch occupancy method will also be used. As many as 300 cameras will be needed for the census.
DNPWC, Department of Forests, Save the Tiger Fund, World Wildlife Fund, and National Trust for Nature Conservation are jointly carrying out the tiger census.
The last tiger census in Nepal was taken in 2003, and it had recorded 350 tigers in the country with 120 tigers in Chitwan National Park alone. The number of the endangered tigers is estimated to be 4,000 in the world.