Saving the majestic big cats

There are 103 tigers in Bhutan and 3,900 tigers in the world as per WWF (Pic: DoFS/ Bhutan Tiger Centre)

Gewog Tiger Conservation Tshogpa launched

STAFF REPORTER

Thimphu

The Bhutan Center for Tigers and Department of Forests and Parks Services (DoFPS) had proposed for community-based tiger conservation fund to mitigate human-wildlife conflict which is the biggest threat in protection and conservation of tigers in Bhutan,

Community-based tiger conservation fund was officially launched on 29 July, coinciding with 12th Global Tiger Day.

The minster for agriculture and forests Yeshey Penjor officially launched the Gewog Tiger Conservation Tshogpa (GTCT) in five gewogs of Nubi, Tangsibji, Korphu and Langthel in Trongsa Dzongkhag and Chumig in Bumthang Dzongkhag.

Out of nine different species of the largest cat, three are extinct while six are endangered. The survey report of Bhutan’s nationwide tiger census reported that there are 103 Royal Bengal tigers roaming. Bhutan will have new report on tiger population by September this year.

Tigers play vital role in maintaining balanced ecosystem and stands at the top of the food chain.

Bhutan pledged to cooperate and double the population of wild tigers by 2022. Thus, Bhutan has intensified patrolling in wildlife reserves. By laws were also signed between GTCT and Tiger Quick Response Team (TQRT).

The minister also launched the standard operating procedure (SOP) book for dealing with livestock depredation cases and human-tiger conflict (HTC) emergencies. It is also designed to improve conflict reporting, response, and compensation payment processing within the established GTCT By laws framework

The executive director of Bhutan Foundation handed over a support letter of additional Nu. 3 million for three gewogs in Bhutan to the minister.

GTCT was also launched in Nangkor gewog under Zhemgang Dzongkhag.

Living with one of the world’s most captivating yet powerful carnivores is no easy matter for people living in tiger-frequenting areas.

With more than 60% of rural population directly relying on livestock and crop production for livelihood and given the complexity of human- carnivore conflicts, a long-term holistic and innovative solution to the human-tiger conflict is critical to ensure the safety of our communities and their assets, wildlife, and their habitats for a long-term. 

GTCT program is intended to create a major paradigm shift in the management of human-tiger conflicts through the promotion of decentralized local governance and community ownership to resolve and manage human-tiger conflict at the grassroots.

The program is supported by UNDP GEF-LDCF and WWF Bhutan Program.