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Tigers in Nepal: Species & Population of Tigers in Nepal


Get Detailed Information about Tigers in Nepal

Everyone recognises a tiger when they see one. They are the largest amongst the Asian cats and have distinctive marks of brown, black, and grey stripes of fur on their head, which makes them hard to miss.

Nepal is a significant habitat for these animals which are currently on the verge of extinction. Poachers mostly hunt them for their precious fur, teeth, and claws, but it’s a capital punishment in Nepal. Today we talk about tigers found in Nepal, the rare Bengal tigers, and the total populations of these mammals in Nepal.

How many Species of Tiger are found in Nepal?

Although there are several species of animals in the world like the Indochinese Tiger, Siberian Tiger, Malayan Tiger, and Sumatran tiger, Nepal is only home to the second most prominent species of these animals, the Bengal tiger.

The Nepal authorities joined hands with the Smithsonian Institution to form the Tiger Ecology Project which aims at the research of tigers and their prey. Based on their studies, the Chitwan National Park was extended to 932 sq km in 1977. The Govt. of Nepal aims at doubling the nation’s population by the year 2022.

What is the Population of Tigers in Nepal?

As of 1998, these mammals have lost about 40% of their natural habitat. A majority of them are found in national parks, conservation areas, and zoos.

A majority of the tiger population is concentrated in South and Southeast Asia, far Eastern Russia, and parts of China. In Southeast Asia, they are mostly found in Nepal, Myanmar, India, China, Malaysia, and Cambodia.

During the reign of Rana tigers were found in abundance in the Terai region and the foothills of Nepal. After the end of the Rana dynasty in 1950, Chitwan became home to several human settlements which cleared out the forests.

After the start of the agriculture and human settlements, the Swap deer began to disappear, which is a primary prey for the tigers. The first significant decrease in the Tiger’s population was seen during the 1960s and 1970s.

With the loss of habitat, scarcity of food, and poaching the tiger population in Nepal saw a drastic decline. Rumours have it there were more than 100,000 species in the Terai region.

After the end of the century, their numbers decreased to 3,200 all over the world, and only 121 were left in Nepal as per the survey of 2009. By 2013 there was a 63% rise in their population making it 198 out of which 120 were present in Chitwan, 50 in Bardia, and the rest in other national parks.

As per the last survey of 2018, there are over 235 wild tigers in Nepal.

Where is the Bengal Tiger found in Nepal?

Panthera tigris Tigris popularly recognised as Bengal Tiger is a sub-species of Tiger found mostly in the subcontinent. Over the years there has been a decline in their population due to loss of habitat, poaching, and fragmentation of habitat.

Researchers say that the Tiger Conservation Landscapes in the Indian subcontinent aren’t big enough to house more than 250 adult Bengal tigers.

India is a significant habitat for Bengal tigers, and their number ranged from 2,603 – 3,346 in 2018, while there were 440 in Bangladesh, around 162 in Nepal, and 103 in Bhutan.
The Banke National Park, Nepal was started in May 2010, with the sole purpose of breeding these rare species of mammals. Other primary habitats of the Bengal tigers are Chitwan, Parsa, Dudhwa, Valmiki, and Kailali.

A Bengal tiger’s size ranges from 2.4m – 3.3m and weighs about 140 kg to 300 kg. They are said to live for more than 18 years and can reach 96 km/hr while running.

They are usually coloured orange, black, or white, and they prefer to live in mangroves and dense tropical jungles.

What are the Threats Faced by Tigers Globally?

The overall population of these mammals has been compromised due to the lack of abundance in prey, poaching/hunting, and habitat loss and fragmentation.

These problems have arisen due to economic development projects and local rural uses. The primary threat faced by the tiger population in Nepal is the poaching and loss of natural habitat.

Tigers are on the verge of extinction as only five species are left out of the total nine subspecies. Besides Southeast Asia, tigers are only found in Turkey and parts of Russia.

Quick Facts About Tiger

  1. They are the giant wildest cats to be found in the jungle. They weigh about 363 kg and can measure up to 3.3 m long.
  2. Tigers are carnivores, and their primary prey is the Swamp deer. They also devour antelope, wild pigs, and buffaloes.
  3. Tigers are usually in a pack of two (mother and offspring), or they typically hunt alone.
  4. They are excellent swimmers, unlike other species of cat.
  5. A tiger’s roar can be heard from a distance of 3 km.
  6. A tiger can run up to 65 km/hr.
  7. Tigers have distinctive markings on their body, and no two tigers look alike.
  8. As of 2020, there are only five species of tigers around the world; Siberian Tiger, Sumatran Tiger, Bengal Tiger, South China Tiger, and Indochinese Tiger.
  9. Researchers say there were more than 100,000 tigers in all over Asia, during the last 100 years.
  10. The tiger is the national animal of countries like India and Bangladesh.


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