Resources Himalaya Foundation successfully organized a panel discussion on July 28, 2021, to mark the Global Tiger Day. The theme of the RHF’s program was “Tiger Conservation: Beyond Boundary”. Four experts working on biodiversity conservation, academics, tiger research, and management were invited for the program. The panelists included Ms. Bharati Kumari Pathak, (Chair, FECOFUN), Dr. Chiranjibi Pokharel (Tiger Expert and Chief, NTNC Central Zoo), Mr. Gopal Prakash Bhattarai (Former Director General, DNPWC), and Prof. Dr. Tej Bahadur Thapa (Wldlife Ecologist and Head of Department, Central Department of Zoology, TU). The program was moderated by Dr. Jhamak Bahadur Karki (Tiger Expert and Vice-Principal, Kathmandu Forestry College).
The panel discussion was carried out in two rounds covering two topics: Tiger Conservation Success and Challenges to maintain the success. The panelists acknowledged all stakeholders including government, community, field staffs, and research institutions for their successful efforts to double the tiger population in Nepal. However, experts urged the use of advanced technology in the research including camera trapping, genetic marking, radio collaring. They also pointed out human-tiger conflict and community engagement as a challenge to be addressed to maintain the success.
In the following session, the panelists highlighted the need for an increase in research activities focusing on community empowerment and study on predator-prey-people relationship, habitat study (including carrying capacity), and animal diseases. For such intensive research, a strong collaboration of government agencies, academia, research institutions, and community based organization is needed.