Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve in India and Bardia National Park in Nepal have won this year’s TX2 Award for doubling their population of wild tigers since 2010. A second award for Tiger Conservation Excellence will be presented to Khata Forest Conservation Area in Nepal, which secures trans-boundary connectivity for tigers between Nepal and India.
The tiger population increased almost five-fold from less than 20 tigers in 2009 to almost 90 in 2018 – an astounding achievement given it is situated in one of the most densely populated regions of the world. Sathyamangalam, designated a Tiger Reserve in 2013, was home to only 25 tigers in 2011 but today there are an estimated 80 individuals in the area. Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, located in the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot, connects with two other protected areas, supporting one of the most important and largest tiger populations in the world.
BARDIA NATIONAL PARK
In September tiger range countries will convene at the second Global Tiger Summit in Vladivostok to assess progress towards the ambitious TX2 goal – to double the number of tigers in the wild – and to identify tiger conservation priorities for the next 12 years. The associated award for Tiger Conservation Excellence is presented to the incredible transboundary Khata corridor where community based conservation efforts, including a network of 74 community forests covering 202 square km, have secured safe passage for tigers between Bardia National Park in Nepal and Katamiaghat Wildlife Sanctuary in India. Over the last five years 46 individual tigers have been detected using the corridor together with other iconic and threatened mammal species including the Asian elephant, and the greater one-horned rhino.
The awards are presented by the Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CATS), Fauna and Flora International (FFI), Global Tiger Forum (GTF), IUCN’s Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation Programme (ITHCP), Panthera, UNDP, The Lion’s Share, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and WWF. Stuart Chapman, Lead of WWF’s Tigers Alive Initiative, noted that the commitments made in 2010 demonstrate what can be achieved through long term commitments to tiger conservation. The dedication of field teams, conservation partners and communities living with tigers are behind these extraordinary results, said Chapman. Coordinator of the Integrated Tiger Habitat Programme, IUCN, Sugoto Roy, said “Successful tiger conservation involves continuous management and improvement of habitats at the landscape scale, rigorous monitoring of tigers and their prey, and working extensively with local communities. All of these criteria have been met with excellence, giving us these globally significant results.“ Tiger Program Coordinator for the Wildlife Conservation Society Dale Miquelle, said, “The results demonstrated by these three sites demonstrate what tiger conservation success can look like when government agencies, non-governmental bodies, and local communities work together, using the best science-based practices, to create a better future for both tigers and people. WCS congratulates these sites, these countries and the local communities involved for their commitment to excellence.”
Meanwhile, Ecosystems and Biodiversity, UNDP, head Midori Paxton, said, “The award-winning reserves serve as a beacon of hope that tiger conservation is possible in fast growing economies and that tigers can coexist even in densely populated countries. This is the inspiration we need as we move towards the next Global Tiger Summit and the setting of new tiger conservation targets.” Default
The TX2 goal is one of the most ambitious conservation goals ever set for a single species and the second Global Tiger Summit in Vladivostok, September 2022, offers the opportunity to set a new vision to secure their future.
Tigers numbered perhaps 100000 a century ago but dropped precipitously to as few as 3,200 in 2010. Their numbers have slowly recovered to approximately 3,900, based on estimates from tiger range countries compiled in 2016.