The number of wild tigers in Nepal has nearly tripled, officials said Friday. The country’s efforts to save tigers from extinction have increased their numbers from 121 in 2009 to 355 in 2022.
Human encroachment on tigers’ habitats, deforestation, and poaching have destroyed tiger populations across Asia. In 1900, more than 100,000 tigers roamed the world, but that number fell to an all-time worldwide low of 3,200 in 2010.
In 2010, Nepal and twelve other countries signed a pledge to double their numbers by this year. Nepal is the only country that succeeded. The Tiger Conservation Plan is backed by several celebrities, including actor Leonardo DiCaprio.
Conservationists researched the tiger population with thousands of motion-sensitive cameras set up across areas in Nepal where tigers live. A team of wildlife experts combed through thousands of images to identify individual animals based on their unique stripes.
“The challenge now is to manage it, and manage the tiger-human conflict…we need to take an integrated approach to minimise the problems,” World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) Nepal representative Ghana Gurung told news agency AFP.