Walk-Shop for Tigers in Bhutan – getting down to business | WWF

Walk-Shop for Tigers in Bhutan – getting down to business

Posted on
17 April 2012

17th April 2012, Thimphu– Just within a span of a century, Tiger numbers have plummeted from 100,000 to a mere 3,500; and this number continues to drop. In the last decade alone, Tiger numbers and habitat have declined by 40 percent, lost largely to habitat loss, poaching, illegal wildlife trade, and human-Tiger conflict (as per GTRP, 2010).A need for a unified global initiative was felt essential to save & recover the dwindling population of Tigers in its last remaining ranges. As an immediate action plan, the leaders from 13 Tiger range countries (TRCs) came together in November, 2010 at an international ‘Tiger Summit’ forum held in St Petersburg, Russia. At this forum, the 13 TRCs and partners endorsed and adopted ‘The Global Tiger Recovery Program (GTRP)’ compiled from individual country’s National Tiger Recovery Priorities.

Since the summit, Bhutan has been reworking on several areas to strengthen the protection of the Tiger and its habitats across the country. These include introduction of Protected Area and Wildlife Bill, initiation of dialogue for effective Indo-Bhutan transboundary cooperation in wildlife protection, national level monitoring of Tiger population & its prey density, and numerous human-tiger conflict initiatives.
The 5 km Tiger Walk-Shop is organised in collaboration with Information & Communication Services and Jigme Dorji National Park (JDNP), Ministry of Agriculture & Forests. Baffling the world of science, it was first in JDNP that pictorial evidences confirmed the presence of Tigers as high as 4,670 masl overlapping with the Snow Leopard habitat.

The aim of the walk is to bring together leaders, prominent local officials, NGOs, media and Tiger supporters closer to Tiger habitat. This is also a show of support to all the implementers who work tirelessly for conservation despite harsh conditions and difficult terrains. The walk will also aim to reiterate Bhutan’s commitment made during the ‘Tiger Summit’ and encourage other range countries to follow suit before the 2nd ministerial level conference on ‘Conservation on Tiger’.

Lyonpo (Dr) Pema Gyamtsho, Minister, Ministry of Agriculture & Forests said “In order to have a successful conservation program we have to solicit the participation and support of all cross sections of our society. That is why this ‘Walk-Shop’ was conceived so that different stakeholders can experience the sights and sounds of nature while discussing the challenges and opportunities for a successful program. JDNP is a recognized Tiger habitat and offers the ideal ambience for constructive debate on the issues concerning Tiger conservation in Bhutan”. 

 WWF’s Conservation Director, Mr. Vijay Moktan said “Tiger Walk-shop is a small reminder to all of us who are concerned and want to save this iconic animal from extinction. In many ways, since we humans have created the problem, it becomes our responsibility to find a solution”.

For further information contact: Vijay Moktan, vmoktan@wwfbhutan.org.bt