• Though India and Nepal had agreed to collaborate on conducting the tiger census in their countries in 2018, they’ve yet to sign an agreement on sharing detailed assessments of the numbers.
• It was expected that an agreement to be signed during the ongoing conference [Global Tiger Recovery Programme that has 13 countries with wild tiger populations in attendance.
• Nepal already publicised the results of its tiger census last September 235 and this represents an 18% rise from the 198 tigers in 2013.
• However, India needs details on the locations of these tigers, which are captured via camera traps, to be sure that some tigers found on the border are not double-counted.
Starting a common methodology programme
• India’s tiger census is huge and spans a vast area.
• However, both (countries) are sovereign and so data sharing must be on equal terms. Prior to beginning its census India had also signed agreements with Bhutan and Bangladesh regarding sharing tiger numbers and conducting surveys using a common methodology.
• Both these countries had already shared data with India, said the Indian official cited earlier.
About India’s count
• Officially, India had 2,226 tigers as of 2014.
• An ongoing census is expected to reveal an update to these numbers.
• 25-35% of India’s tigers now lived outside protected reserves.
• The Chitwan National Park in Chitwan and Parsa Wildlife Reserve of Nepal are adjacent to the Balmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar.
• Likewise, Nepal’s Bardiya National Park adjoins India’s Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, while the Shuklaphant National Park in Nepal adjoins India’s Dudhwa Tiger Reserve.
Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment
Prelims level: Tiger reserves mentioned
Mains level: Bilateral cooperation on tiger conservation