Survival of tigers in our hands

Themed “Their survival is in our hands,” the International Tiger Day will be observed in Panbang Primary School in Zhemgang today.

 There are  about 103 adult tigers freely roaming in the country

There are about 103 adult tigers freely roaming in the country

The day will bring together communities of Norbugang and Panbang to create awareness on the importance of tiger conservation, according to the press release from Global Tiger Centre in Gelephu.

Yesterday, ex-poachers under the “Hunter to hermitage” programme in Norbugang cleaned the water discharge pond and initiated habitat improvement for tigers and other wildlife in the area.

To create awareness and strengthen conservation activities, students will compete in art and story writing competition with the theme, “Tigers and my community.”

The entertainment group will present programmes based on the theme of the day. A new tiger theme song will also be launched on the day.

Relevant stakeholders and partners will take part in the event. The programme was organised by Global Tiger centre in collaboration with Royal Manas National Park and Zhemgang forest division. Bhutan Foundation is funding the event.

Bhutan Tiger Action Plan from 2018 to 2023 reported an estimate of about 103 adult tigers freely roaming between 100 and 4300 metres above sea level in the country.

The action plan aims to increase tiger population in Bhutan by 20 percent by 2022 as the 2015 baseline of 103. The plan is expected to reduce poaching of tigers by 90 percent and strengthen anti-poaching strategies.

Under the action plan, zoning and delineating critical tiger habitats within and outside the protected areas would ensure survival of the species. Habitat improvement would be achieved through enrichment plantations, salt lick and waterhole creation, management of grassland and abandoned grazing grounds.

To avoid human-tiger-conflict, the action plan would enable conflict prevention strategies through awareness, improved livelihood opportunities, and construction of physical barriers.

For long term conservation, scientific data and information, periodic assessment of tiger population and distribution would be carried out.

Globally, for about half a century, tiger remains an endangered species in the IUCN Red List of threatened species.

Choki Wangmo

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