On July 29, International Tiger Day, we share the success story of one of the few countries in the world where the population of this cat is growing today – Nepal. We’re thankful to WWF for the excellent review.
Since April 2020, in the southern and eastern parts of Nepal, scientists have recorded the appearance of tigers in their atypical highlands – 2,500 m and 3,140 m above sea level. These are the highest points where a predator has been found in the history of observations in the country. Why did tigers from their usual territories start to rise higher?
WWF experts in Nepal consider several reasons, including effects of climate change: rising temperatures, more extended periods of drought, etc. They affect the behavior of tiger prey, which is looking for more suitable for survival areas. Also, population growth in Nepal’s protected areas is forcing some tigers to seek new habitats higher in the mountains.
According to WWF experts, tigers are becoming more numerous due to measures to preserve habitats and critical ecological corridors so that animals can spread in mountainous areas.
For example, the creation of 8 artificial ponds to collect water from surrounding springs in the highlands of Churia, which was chosen after local research and consultation with experts. This region is attractive to large cats. Thus, this will reduce the probability of approaching the predator to the settlements.
Scientists will track and compare the animals’ “traffic” before and after the emergence of sources.
Another option is to plant trees to restore the ecological corridor. Animals will use greenery and bypass human habitation or roads.
WWF-Ukraine considers such a solution to ensure the migratory activity of wild animals as one of the options for preserving another rare cat – the Eurasian lynx. Scientists plan to select a site and restore the eco-corridor within Open Borders’ project for Wildlife in the Carpathians (OBWIC).
On the verge of extinction
In the last century, the world’s wild tiger population has been in crisis. Only in recent years, thanks to the numerous efforts of scientists and conservation projects, including zoological ones, is the number beginning to increase.
According to current estimates, there are 3,900 tigers left in the wild, but it takes a lot of work to protect this species if we want to secure its future in the wild.
The range of different subspecies of tigers covers diverse landscapes – from taiga to tropical forests. And everywhere, tigers face problems of destruction of the natural environment, fragmentation of the area, poaching, and reduction of forage capacity of lands.
What can be done to save the tiger?
– Protect local groups of tigers and their habitats;
– Reduce the conflict between humans and tigers;
– Carry out research to develop effective conservation strategies;
– Promote political and economic decisions that contribute to the preservation of the tiger;
– Monitor population trends and threats to tigers and their habitats;
– Educate people.
Let the tigers continue to live in the wild. Without them, the planet will lose something extremely valuable!
In the photo: the tiger escapes from the summer heat in Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India.