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Global Ideas

Eye of the tiger

Just 200 tigers still roam the wild in Nepal. Almost half of them live in Chitwan National Park where gamekeepers, public participation and stricter regulations aim to boost the population.

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Project goal: Preventing poaching; protecting and improving biodiversity with the aim of doubling Bengal tiger numbers by 2020.

Conservation program: Camera trips are used to monitor the tiger population, while while gharials - a kind of crocodile - are raised in rearing stations and then released into the wild.

Implementation: Around 1,500 soldiers are monitoring the park; GPS phones documenting routes; anti-poaching advisors educate the public on the importance of wildlife protection and neighboring villages receive around 50 percent of the park’s earnings.

Biological diversity: Rare species, such as the South Asian river dolphin, gharial and Indian rhinoceros, live in Chitwan National Park. Around 120 of the world’s 3,000 wild tigers also live there.

Size: Chitwan National Park: 932 square kilometers with a buffer zone of reforested area where villagers can collect firewood.

Volume: Nepal’s government invests around 3.6 million dollars annually. WWF Nepal provides 40,000 dollars yearly.

In Nepal, just 200 tigers still roam the wild. Now the country is trying to boost their presence. In recent years, the population has been increasing - wild tiger numbers in the mountain nation have risen 63 percent since 2009. Stricter anti-poaching laws and widespread support for NGOs such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are behind the increase. We accompanied tiger expert Diwakar Chapagain on the job in Chitwan National Park. Villages neighboring the park are also playing a role: they allow the tigers freedom to roam their traditional stomping grounds and reforest their threatened habitats in return for a share of the park’s earnings from tourism.

A film by Wolf Gebhardt

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