In the early 1900s, about 100,000 tigers roamed in the wild, whereas today, there are only 3,900 tigers left in the world and out of the nine species that were once known to mankind, three of them are already extinct.
These nine species were known as the Bengal, Siberian, Indo-Chinese, South Chinese, Sumatran, Malayan, Caspian, Javan and Bali tigers. They lived across 13 countries within several Southeast Asian nations, reaching all the way up to Turkey. Out of the nine, the Caspian, Javan and Bali tigers are extinct, while Nepal is known to have Bengal tigers. India has the highest number of wild tigers in the world, boasting 2,226 in their care.
Back in 2010, there was a Tiger Summit held in St. Petersburg, Russia, to increase the number of tigers in the world. The government of Nepal, along with other countries that these animals are indigenous to like India, Russia, and Bhutan all attended the summit and pledged to increase their number of tigers by double come 2022.
During the National Conservation Day last September 23, 2018, Nepal announced that 235 tigers are living in their country, as compared to 121 tigers they had in 2009 – which makes Nepal the first country to closely double its number of wild tigers even before the 2022 agreement. Nepali tiger experts are positive they will reach the goal of doubling its numbers in the next four years, hoping to have just 15 tigers more.
In Nepal, their big cats roam around different national parks that comprises of only 7% of the territory they once knew, with Chitwan National Park becoming the first that was declared accredited by Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CAITS) in 2015. Humans have slowly destroyed their habitat to further urbanize land into homes and farms, so the country has turned a quarter of their landmass into conservation areas.
Hindu Mythology reveres tigers, as seen mounted by Durga, the Goddess of Power. They are symbols of courage and power that is facing a massive decline in population because of poaching and destruction to their habitats. Tigers are poached and killed in order to sell their beautiful skin, as well as use their body parts in traditional medicine.
To tackle the poaching problem, Nepal hired communities to take care of their forests with 400 local units to make sure that there is no illegal activity on-going. They also use drones to survey possible trafficking routes.
Because of the tiger’s elusive nature, they are often difficult to track. With use of technological advancements, tracking tigers are done by their unique stripe patterns on their flanks which is captured by camera along known tiger trails. These videos which are located in 1,643 different camera traps was how the tigers were counted.
Since 2011, Nepal has also gained success with keeping their rhinos safe as they have clocked in a total of 1,825 days without rhino poaching.
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