Sunday, February 8, 2015

Chitwan National Park Praised for Tiger Conservation Achievement

Tigress cooling off

Conservationists from around the world have again praised Nepal's persistent efforts to protect its rare wildlife species, including tigers, that are under international threat from prevalent poaching and illegal wildlife trade. On the last day of a five-day zero-poaching conference, Chitwan National Park was proclaimed the first international site to be certified as Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CATS). The standard is a spontaneous, independent scheme for any site committed to tiger conservation and is based on about seventeen components with affiliated minimum rules and principles for adequate management of tiger reserves. Chitwan National Park was bestowed with the first ever international tiger habitat for its perfection in tiger site preservation and protection. Authorities indicated that efforts included exceptional coordination between them and conservationists, strong and efficient law enforcement organizations, commitment of local communities, and duty of security squads in diminishing the illegal wildlife trade on both local and national levels. Nepal earlier celebrated its efforts in preventing poaching activities in 2011 and 2013 during which not a single tiger or a rhinoceros was killed. Likewise, a tiger census in 2013 marked a rise of approximately 63 percent in tiger population with a total of 198 animals. Similarly, a count from 2011 indicated that there are 534 rhinos in Nepal.
Chitwan National Park

Nepal has done an outstanding job in ensuring the survival of its native wildlife species, including tigers and rhinos. Efforts such as excellent coordination between conservationists and authorities, engagement of local communities, and effective law enforcement networks have contributed to curb any incidents of poaching activities in the vicinity of the country's protected areas like Chitwan National Park. However, in countries like Laos, Cambodia, China, Vietnam, Burma, and Bhutan, the situation is much different. The tiger population in these countries are critically low due to rampant poaching and illegal wildlife trade. For example, Bhutan has an estimated population of 75 tigers while Cambodia has 20 tigers, Laos has 17, Vietnam has 20, China has 45, and Burma has 85. These countries are in a tremendous need of help in conserving and protecting their individual tiger populations, as well as other wildlife populations. In addition, they should also look at Nepal as a model on how to properly improvise their efforts in ensuring the survival of their tiger populations. If these Asian countries follow similar steps that Nepal took to protect its tiger population and maybe with some help from other countries, then they would hopefully be applauded for taking the initiative and conducting efforts to prevent any poaching or wildlife trade incidents from happening within the vicinity of their individual national parks and other protected areas.

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