Happy International Tiger Day! July 29th 2019
To celebrate international tiger day Bennetts are excited to share with you the latest report from the WildCat conservation alliance team on the ground in India and Nepal.
In India and Nepal wild tigers are facing serious threats across their entire territory from habitat loss, poaching and diminishing food sources, but some areas are succeeding in stabilising populations against the odds. When there is a commitment to conservation, joint protection measures and government assistance, we can start to see a rise in wild tiger numbers.
One such area is the lowland hills of the Himalayas in Nepal’s Terai Arc. WildCats Conservation Alliance has been funding projects in this area since 2015 which focus on population monitoring through camera traps, working with local communities to protect forests and training national park and army staff on current conservation techniques.
In 2018 their work included participating in the Nepal National Tiger Survey which found that Nepal is on track to double tiger numbers by 2022. The WildCats grant also helped train 58 army and National Park staff in patrol techniques, data collection methods, law enforcement monitoring and reporting.
With the tiger population on the rise work needs to be done to ensure there is enough space for the growing population. As the human population is also rapidly growing there is an increased pressure on the land to support both tigers and humans. Nepal has seen success stories by increasing protection over areas and changing them from a reserve to a national park. They have also increased the area of some parks including Parsa National Park, where WildCats directs resources.
To ensure that there is enough suitable land for tigers, WildCats has also funded habitat assessments to evaluate if forest land is suitable for tigers with forest cover, enough prey, water and of course, minimal human activity.
A further implication of growing tiger numbers is a potential for conflict between tigers and people. This can be anything from tigers wandering into villages, stealing livestock to threatening lives. WildCats recognise the rights of people to live safely in coexistence with tigers and aims to reduce the negative impact of conflict for both wildlife and people. To that effect, the project currently taking place in Nepal in 2019 is helping vulnerable villagers to build predator proof corrals to protect their livestock at night.
Bennetts have been supporting 21st Century Tiger since 2006, who in 2018 joined forces with Amur Leopard and the Tiger Alliance to become the WildCats Conservation Alliance. Bennetts has donated US$1 for every bag of our India Tiger Mountain A Grade sold. To date, we have raised over USD$30,000 for this important cause. To support WildCats Conservation Alliance and help save the Indian Tiger, you can purchase our India Tiger Mountain A Grade or visit the 21st Century Tiger website HERE to find out more.
We look forward to the next report from the WildCats Conservation Alliance team and are excited to hear about their future projects.