WWF congratulates Nepal for historic doubling of wild tiger numbers

Posted on 29 July 2022

Kathmandu, Nepal - WWF is today delighted to congratulate Nepal for successfully doubling its tiger population to an estimate of 355 individuals - an increase of more than 190 per cent since 2009. These results were announced by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and follow the culmination of Nepal's National Tiger and Prey Survey 2022. The survey highlights the importance of maintaining and rigorously protecting core habitats, partnering with communities to ensure long-term conservation success and expanding conservation interventions to include corridors and habitats beyond extant Protected Areas.

An extensive effort covering 18,928 sq. km - over 12 per cent of the country - and 16,811 days of field staff time was invested to complete the survey. The results bring both great hope and reassurance about the tigers’ long-term future in Nepal.

The target to double wild tigers, also known as Tx2, was set by governments in 2010 at the St. Petersburg International summit on tiger conservation. With this announcement Nepal is the first country to release updated tiger numbers during the Year of the Tiger. Tiger range countries are meeting next month to begin discussions on the next 12-year commitments for tiger conservation under the Global Tiger Recovery Program.

WWF-Nepal was an implementing partner in the survey which was led by the Department of National Park and Wildlife Conservation with support also from other conservation organisations (National Trust for Nature Conservation and ZSL Nepal). WWF-Nepal was involved from survey design to data analysis via both technical and financial support to the Government.

While the future of Nepal’s tigers across vast landscapes has always been a challenge in the face of various threats, the latest estimate indicates the relevance of the conservation measures that have been implemented by the Government, WWF and other organisations working in the sector.

Ghana S. Gurung, Country Director, WWF-Nepal, said, “This conservation win is a result of political will and concerted efforts of local communities, youths, enforcement agencies, and conservation partners under the leadership of Government of Nepal.”

Stuart Chapman, Tigers Alive Initiative Leader, WWF said “The doubling of Nepal’s tiger population is an extraordinary achievement and is the result of sustained conservation effort over many years. Nepal has demonstrated the highest conservation standards in reaching this historic milestone. There is clearly much to learn from Nepal's tiger population recovery over the last 12 years. ”

NOTES TO EDITOR

About WWF
 
WWF is an independent conservation organisation, with over 30 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption. Visit www.panda.org/news for the latest news and media resources and follow us on Twitter @WWF_media.
 
Why tigers matter

As the world’s largest cat and an apex predator, tigers play a significant role in the structure and function of the ecosystem on which both humans and wildlife rely. They are a “landscape” species, needing large areas with diverse habitats, free from human disturbance and rich in prey. Success or failure means more than securing the future of a single iconic species – it sets a precedent for how we will consider and prioritise the health of nature in global development and in a changing climate going forward. For more information see: tigers.panda.org 

For media requests, please contact:
Sneha Tamrakar | WWF-Nepal | sneha.tamrakar@wwfnepal.org
Jenny Roberts | WWF-Tigers Alive | jroberts@wwf-tigers.org
Tiger photographed at Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, India.
© Narayanan Iyer (Naresh) / WWF-International