07/31/2013, 00.00
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Rise in number of Nepalese wild tigers despite Chinese poachers

by Kalpit Parajuli
From 2009 to the present day Kathmandu has registered a growth of 63%, bringing the total number of specimens from 121 to 198. Beijing remains the biggest threat in the fight against the extinction of these animals, whose parts are used in traditional Chinese medicine.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Nepal is celebrating a positive turn in the its battle against the extinction of wild tigers: for the first time in 40 years, the country has 198 specimens of these animals, an increase of 63% compared to 2009. The last census on tigers dates back to four years ago, which had tracked 121 specimens.

Nepal started to "count" its tigers only from the 70s, with the approval of the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 2029 BS and the launch of the Tiger Ecology Project. At the time, the great felines were just 70.

For the National Tiger Conservation Committee (NTCC) - led by interim Prime Minister Khila Raj Regmi - it is a great achievement, which must be preserved by continuing to combat smuggling.

From this point of view, the greatest threat comes from China. "Traditional Chinese culture - explains Ghanshyam Gurung, a Nepalese WWF expert - encourages the use of meat and other tiger parts in different medicines. This puts the lives of big felines at risk. Beijing and its cultural and religious authorities should help us to combat smuggling, which has become a threat not just for tigers, but for the preservation of wild animals of Nepal. "



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