To double the number of tigers within a fairly short period of time requires innovative thinking and active management.
The most realistic option is to optimize tiger habitat within the current boundaries of protected areas. Our main focus is on the tiger in Bardiya National Park. Once the playground of Nepalese Maharajas, today Bardiya is a natural and protected area (970 km2) in southwest Nepal. It received its official status as a National Park in 1988. The nearby Banke National Park was added in 2010 to form a connected natural wildlife reserve of about 1,500 km2.
The key is to increase their ‘carrying capacity’. To enable the doubling of the number of tigers, yet preventing livestock depredation, Bardiya National Park and its buffer zones need to harbour at least twice as many prey biomass. This is a challenging figure and not an easy task to achieve. So how do we optimize tiger habitat? Here, too, innovative thinking and intelligent manoeuvring will be needed. The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation (DNPWC) in cooperation with the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) and the World Wildlife Fund Nepal (WWF-NP) are working together to reach this ambitious goal.