Tigers on the rise
In 2020 Nepal broke its high-altitude tiger sighting record not once, but twice, proving that its increasing tiger population is pushing the boundaries of its previously known range. Excitement encapsulated Nepal’s conservation community as one of these high-altitude tiger sightings was in Ilam at about 1.9 miles up and an incredible 155 miles east of Nepal’s previously known tiger range. These discoveries are exciting and an insight into potential future range expansion with the help of more research and conservation support.
Other successes include the country’s efforts to tackle poaching, which was once the greatest threat to tigers in Nepal. Protecting tigers can protect other species, too. Thanks to groups such as the protected areas patrolling units and community-based anti poaching units, the country has achieved zero poaching of rhinos since 2011. Rhino numbers are increasing in Nepal thanks to collective conservation efforts.
Nepal has proven that with political will, community leadership, and the right conservation measures, doubling tiger numbers is possible. But the work isn’t over and progress remains fragile. Nepal is evidence as to why we need robust and measurable goals focused on living with tigers and range expansion in order to ensure the future of this iconic big cat.