“HTF initiates, facilitates and – if necessary – finances applied research to restore tiger habitat to enable this top predator to grow again.” I
n the past decades the ecosystem of Bardiya National Park has gradually deteriorated. The last villages were relocated outside the park in the eighties of last century. Although the communal grazing areas are cut and burned annually, they are shrinking due to forest encroachment. Indigenous animals such as gaur, bluebuck, nilgai and arna have become extinct or are only present in small numbers, like rhino and wild elephant. The deer community is diverse, as there are five different species (swamp deer, sambar, spotted deer, hog deer and barking deer). Deer are still abundant but growing number of tigers might result in depredation and ultimately cause a shift in tiger diet from deer to livestock.
Rehabilitation of tiger habitat requires active management. Field research is essential because there are still many unknowns and question marks. Therefore we aim to structurally strengthen the research and management capacity of Nepali institutions dealing with wildlife conservation in general and tiger conservation in particular.
Our foundation invites young and bright Nepalese conservation officers to do a PhD-study in the area of tiger conservation at a European university. Supervised by the scientific staff of affiliated universities, fieldwork will in principle be done in Bardiya National Park and its surrounding buffer zones and corridors. Nepali and Dutch MSc-students support Field research.
With simple tests, experiments and field research we support Bardya National Park staff, NTNC and other conservation agencies in doubling the number of tigers by 2022 and dealing with related issues. If interventions turn out to be successful and evidence-based, they can be applied at a larger scale in Bardiya and elsewhere in Nepal or abroad.