Park officials all set for tiger census in Bardiya and Banke

December 12, 2017

The Kathmandu Post, 13 Dec 2017 

Preparations have been completed for tiger census in Bardiya and Banke national parks, authorities said on Tuesday. The counting will kick off on December 16. 

The Bardiya National Park (BNP) said that the authorities concerned would be providing training to technicians, Nepal Army personnel deployed in the protected area and employees of the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) for the census. The two-day training starts on Thursday.

According to acting chief conservation officer at the BNP Ashok Kumar Bhandari, seven teams comprising technicians will be mobilised in Bardiya and six in Banke for the purpose. The technical teams will be using camera trapping methodology in the parks for the scientific monitoring of the big cats.

Human resources from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, the NTNC, World Wildlife Fund Nepal, Nepal Army, District Forest Offices, and representatives from the buffer zone committees, will be mobilised for the count.

A nationwide tiger census kicked off in the country from the Parsa National Park on November 30. As per its commitment to the Global Tiger Recovery Plan, Nepal is working to double tiger population in the country to at least 250 by 2022.

The tiger census in Bardiya and Banke national parks is expected to last until mid-March 2018. The BNP said that 229 cameras would be used in the park areas, Khata bio-corridor and Sattiban Community Forest in Kailali district. 

Bhandari said that the technical teams would monitor movement of tigers through automatic cameras installed at the distance of 2km from each other. The technical teams will stay in the forest area and monitor the tiger’s movement, he added

The tiger census is conducted in the protected area in every four years. The last census held in 2013 put the number tigers in the country at 198, of which 120 were counted in the CNP, 50 in the BNP, 17 in Shuklaphanta National Park, seven in Parsa National Park and four in Banke National Park.

The number of tigers has increased in the BNP for the past two years due to the suitable natural habitat, availability of prey and improved security situation, according to the park authorities.