Challenge to conservation of tigers in Banke national park

Published On: October 18, 2018 06:00 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

BANKE, Oct 18: The number of tigers jumped up in the Banke national park. 

The latest count of the big cat in the national park shows that there are 21 tigers inhabiting the park. This is good news for the park which was established with the main goal of tiger conservation. 

However, with the increase in the tiger population, the challenge of its protection has also grown. 

“Increasing tiger numbers is very good indeed. But the challenge to protect this wild animal has also increased with this,” said Dil Bahadur Purja Pun, the chief conservation officer of the Banke National Park. 

According to him, the population of the animals which are the tiger’s prey should also increase in proportion to the increase in the tiger population for the sustaining the tigers. “A big challenge would be faced in sustaining the existing tiger population if the numbers of its prey did not increase in proportion to the increase in tiger population,” Pun said. Therefore, our priority should also be to increase the number of animals which are hunted by the big cat and form its food. 

Tiger census was started in Banke national park since 2008. Tiger was not traced in the park at that time. The second tiger census carried out in 2013 counted four tigers. The number of tigers has increased nearly five times at 21 as shown by the third tiger census conducted in 2018. 

A tiger makes 60 kills in a year on average and consumes 15-49 kilos of meat once which will be sufficient for a week. "Though the park has presently sufficient food for tigers, the increase in the number of tigers indicates the need of conserving animals of other species which supply food for tigers," said chief conservation officer Pun. 

The issue of sufficient diet for tigers instead of its poaching is emerged as a major challenge for its protection, according to him. The tiger poaching is almost zero. Besides, awareness campaign is going on to minimize the possibility of human-wildlife conflict when animals make exits from the park. 

He insisted on the need of protection of spotted deer, boar and other animals remaining as the prey for tigers. With the increase in the tiger population, the issues concerning their security, control of human entry to the park and increase in the number of its prey appear as challenges, the park said. The park covers an area of 550 square kilometers. 

Climate Protection Campaign Nepal's chair Hemantra Raj Kafle said he was happy over the growing number of tigers. But, he feels the need of taking measures for the rise of the number of its prey. Nature conservationist Krishna Lal Chaudhary was of the view of ensuring atmosphere so that tigers could easily hunt in the jungle. RSS

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