Nepal, India to conduct joint tiger census in November



Nepal and India will be conducting in November a joint head count of tigers in the national parks, forests and sanctuaries along the international border between the two neighbours using a similar camera tapping method.

Conservation authorities and experts from both the countries will use the method in which they would install cameras in various locations in the tiger habitats as well as their roaming areas and capture and track down their movements, the Himalayan Times reported on Monday.

"The counting of tigers will begin from the second week of November," said Man Bahadur Khadka, Director General of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation.

Khadka said that although the tiger census had been conducted jointly in Nepal and India in the past, this is the first time when both the countries were employing the same method that is globally preferred.

By using this method, chances of counting the same tiger over again remain slim, said Khadka.

The decision was taken after a recent meeting between the officials of both countries regarding the tiger census.

The Chitwan National Park in Chitwan and Parsa Wildlife Reserve, which are the habitats of tigers in Nepal, are adjacent to the Balmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar state of India.

Similarly, Nepal's Bardiya National Park is close to India's Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh while the Shuklaphanta National Park in Nepal adjoins India's Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, also in Uttar Pradesh.

As per the last tiger census in Nepal in 2013, as many as 198 Royal Bengal Tigers were found in Nepal with Chitwan National Park alone housing 120 of them, the report said.

The tiger is regarded as an endangered animal and is listed in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. - IANS