Friday, May 29, 2015Friday, May 29, 2015

Nepal begins Bengal tiger census, India to match

Published on Feb 5, 2013 12:20 PM
Indian customs officials displaying a Bengal tiger skin last year in Siliguri, seized by a team of customs officials from India-Nepal border, some 40 km from Siliguri. Poaching remains a tremendous danger for the remaining population of the feline, with rising demand for tiger parts from East Asia, especially China where tiger bone is used in traditional medicines, experts say. -- PHOTO: AFP

KATHMANDU (REUTERS) - Hundreds of wildlife experts carrying sophisticated cameras began combing the forests in Nepal's southern plains on Tuesday in the Himalayan nation's biggest campaign yet to count the number of endangered tigers roaming in its national parks.

The survey is crucial for planning strategy to double the number of Royal Bengal tigers in Nepal by 2022, as pledged by the Nepali government.

Nepal is currently home to 176 of the animals, which are threatened by poaching and habitat loss.

The census will take place in several national parks in southern Nepal - reserves that spread across into neighbouring India, which will be conducting a similar survey on its part of the border.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!