India and Nepal Join Hands to Save Tigers
A two-day meet between India and Nepal, where the two countries brainstormed to chalk out strategies to save the tigers on the trans-border corridor was concluded on Tuesday, March 15. The meet was conducted between the senior forestry officials of both the neighbouring country.
It is to be noted that about 14 Big Cats were killed in the instances in poaching along the trans-border corridor in the year 2015. Considering it a major threat, the two countries decided to mutually work over the problem to help the endangered species without any delay. It is also to be noted that the meeting has laid ground for the upcoming Third Asian Ministerial Conference on Tiger Conservation scheduled for April 12-14 to be held in New Delhi, India. In the meeting, the involvement of Banjara Community of India was brought in open. According to a report, of the 14 citizens arrested during 2015, majority of them belonged to the Banjara community also known as Bawaria community in India. Also, 16 out of 19 absconding Indian citizens are also suspected to have belonged to the Banjara community. Therefore, in the bilateral meeting the decision on action against the Banjara Community suspects was made. As per DSP Pravin Pokharel of CIB, an operation to assess the population of the Banjara community, profiling them, gathering photos and other relevant information to keep close vigil and sharing of information between the respective authorities will be carried out.
According to Akhileshwor Karna, leader, the Nepali delegation, poaching has been responsible for hindering the ambitious project to double the tiger population in the region by 2022. He stated that“Surmounting the challenges in the trans-border area is key to the success of the project”. On the other side, DIG Nawaraj Silwal, head, Central Bureau of Investigation, said. “As poaching becomes difficult in India, the poachers are sure to target tigers in Nepal because open border poses no challenge for Indian poachers to enter Nepal.” It is to be noted that India has invests about USD 55 million every year to save tiger population but Nepal’s investment has been very less as compared to that of the southern neighbor.
There is about 45,000 sq.km land in the trans-border area from Bagmati to Yamuna rivers, which is home to 15 conservation areas and wildlife parks. It is recorded that from India’s Dudhwa National Park and Balmiki Tiger Reserve and from Nepal’s Chitwan National Park, Bardiya National Park and Shuklaphanta Wildlife reserve, regularly cross the international border. And it has been noticed that the officials on both sides facing difficulties in saving the endangered species.
Please note that the tiger population in Nepal is estimated to be about 200 and in India it is around 2,200. Sixteen tiger species have been considered to be vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered due to loss of habitat, loss of prey, human conflict, and increasing global trade in wildlife trophies.
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